5 new Laureates will be announced on 29 November — 02.09.11

Tears, stunned silence and "are you kidding me" were among the responses from the five artists we have just called to offer a $50,000 Laureate Award.

Five wonderful artists have just received surprise calls offering them $50,000 Laureate Awards.

As artists do not apply for Arts Foundation awards, these phone calls are very special, and a reason why  Executive Director, Simon Bowden, says he has the best job in the world.The Laureates must keep the news secret until announcement on 29 November in Auckland (more details about the event soon). In the meantime, if you see an artist walking around with a smile they just can't get off their face and won't tell you why, you'll know the reason...!!!

The Laureate Award is an investment in excellence across a range of art forms for an artist with prominence and outstanding potential for future growth.  Recipients' work is rich but their richest work still lies ahead of them. The Laureate Award recognises a moment in the artists' career that will allow them to have their next great success.

The 2011 Selection Panel of five, which met in August, was Chaired by Arts Foundation Trustee Richard Cathie. 

The Laureate Awards are for working artists with substantial achievements and potential to carry on as high achieving artists.  The Selection Panel noted the following considerations:

  • Major figures in contemporary art practice;
  • In the front rank and creative centre of their art-form;
  • Acknowledged to be outstanding by their peers;
  • Of international standard;
  • Represented by a substantial and significant output and still have productive work ahead of them;
  • Their work continues to surprise and amaze for its richness, range and depth;
  • They stand for the strength and quality of their particular art-form practice in New Zealand.