15 Apr 2024

Finalists for Adam Portraiture Award announced

9:37 pm on 15 April 2024
Portrait by Megan Lavin-McIsaac

Portrait by Megan Lavin-McIsaac Photo: New Zealand Portrait Gallery

Thirty-seven finalists have been selected for the prestigious Adam Portraiture Award, where the winning submission will receive a cash prize of $20,000 in May.

Lead curator at Christchurch Art Gallery, Felicity Milburn, and Wellington-based artist, Karl Maughan have reviewed and shortlisted the finalists from 451 submissions from across the motu - and one entry from Australia.

The competition has a few rules: both the artist and the subject of the portrait must be a New Zealand resident or citizen, the portrait must be predominantly painted, and it must have been completed in the last two years.

This year, portraits including aluminium steel, linen, and coffee-painted materials have made the cut. Well-known Kiwis Chris Knox and Fiona Pardington are also feature in the mix of depicted subjects.

Portrait by Tessa Meyer

Portrait by Tessa Meyer Photo: New Zealand Portrait Gallery

NZ Portrait Gallery director Jaenine Parkinson said the 2024 entries came with "an abundance of choice, creativity, skill, and uniqueness to choose from.

"Our judges set themselves the task of searching for that elusive 'x-factor' that sets some artworks apart from others. That might have been the adept capturing not only a face, but also a subject's attitude, or the way they portrayed more about an individual by considering the place and things around them."

The Adam Portraiture Award is a biennial competition. Established in 2002, it is one of the country's longest-running art prizes.

Portrait by Jasmine Middlebrook

Portrait by Jasmine Middlebrook Photo: New Zealand Portrait Gallery

All the 2024 finalists' works will be showcased in a public exhibition at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata in Wellington.

Photo: New Zealand Portrait Gallery

On 22 May, ahead of the exhibition, the winner of the competition and recipient of the $20,000 cash prize will be announced.

At the end of the exhibition, an additional prize of $2,500 each will be awarded to the runner-up and People's Choice.

The Adam Portraiture Award exhibition runs from 23 May to 11 August.