Welcome to WSA

2011 National Youth Award

Scroll down this page to the bottom to view finalists' artworks


Media Release  15 August 2011

A Centre Place (Hamilton) shop window proved the ideal setting for the 2011 WSA National Youth Art Award winning entry by WITT graduate, 24 year-old Mikaere Gardiner.  “Untitled (A New Plymouth Street Art Love Story)”, described as a sculpture was a display of amazingly decorated plates, each with its own character and telling a story which made up the total picture.  The judge, renowned NZ artist Carole Shepheard, was impressed with the professional standard of the finalists and noted that the winning entry just had ‘the edge’ on other entries.   The second prize went to Grace Gilbert, of Auckland with a subtle drawing entitled “Yes, I knew him”.  A number of finalists received special mention.  Carole Shepheard was very encouraging to the finalists.   She commented on the talent, creativity and potential on the young artists and encouraged them to continue working in the field of visual arts.  


There were nearly 70 entries in this year’s award – from Whangarei to Invercargill -  and the 20 finalists are on display in Centre Place (just inside the Victoria Street entrance), until Sunday, 21 August.  Around a quarter of the entries are from the Waikato with three finalists coming from Cambridge High School alone.


The prize for the people’s choice will be awarded at the end of the week when the votes are counted.


WSA are grateful to sponsors, Tompkins Wake Lawyers and Convex Plastics for donating and presenting the valued first and second prizes, on Sunday, 14 August.  The prize money is important to further careers of the young artists.   We are also grateful to the Centre Place administrators for the wonderful venue and to the Lido for the use of their foyer for the opening event.  The venues added to the professionalism of the exhibition and the work of the contestants was enhanced by their surroundings.


PHOTO  “Untitled (A New Plymouth Street Art Love Story)” by Mikaere Gardiner


The 2nd Prize   "Yes, I knew him"  by Grace Gilbert


People's Choice Award Winner   "Business Socks"  by Aaron Gash

Scroll down to view all the finalists' artworks

About National Youth Art Award 2011

Young artists from around New Zealand were invited to enter Waikato Society of Arts’ 2011 National Youth Art Award. This award encourages talented young artists with substantial dollar prizes. The exhibition in Hamilton of finalists will present a cross section of quality art at the cutting edge produced in New Zealand by young artists.


This competition, for artists between 15 and 27 years, resident in New Zealand, is open to artists working in any media including 2D, 3D, graphics and recycled materials. We welcome entries from artists in secondary or tertiary courses and from independent and outsider artists as well.  Next Youth Art Award will be held in 2013.  Please email wsa@wsa.org.nz for registering your expression of interest.


Entries for 2011 closed on 31 July and finalists were notified  by email.  


The first prize of $2000 and second prize of $500were announced at the opening 14 August at the Lido Cinema lobby in Centre Place.  Viewers were invited to vote for a ‘People’s Choice Awards’ of $300.   Entries came in from all over New Zealand.


Tompkins Wake Solicitors donated the $2000 first prize.  Second prize was sponsored by Convex Plastics.  This award was sponsored by a grant from Creative Hamilton and Creative New Zealand and Centreplace, Hamilton.


Entry for 2011 now closed

About this year's judge:


Dr Carole Shepheard


Carole Shepheard was a Professor of Fine Arts at The University of Auckland until 2007 when she left to live permanently in Kawhia. She set up Te Puti Art Studio to continue her art making but also for teaching and community art purposes. She runs an art programme for beginners and a studio approach for those with more experience as well as weekend workshops. Carole has exhibited both nationally and internationally with her art in all major New Zealand Art collections including the Auckland Art Gallery and Te Papa Tongarewa.

In 1991 she was made a Commonwealth International Woman of the Year; in 2002 an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit and in 2004 gained her Doctorate of Fine Arts.

Her own artwork looks at the relationship of objects to their owners and the narratives that can be formed between past and present. She is Chair of the Public Art Panel(Hamilton), an independent judge and curator, arts consultant and writer. 




Finalists' Artworks

(Click on a thumbnail below to see an enlargement.
Run your mouse over the upper corners of an enlargement to see links for 'previous' and 'next' image.)