CPIT tutor searches for South Island’s best artwork

CPIT tutor searches for South Island’s best artwork

CPIT tutor and Bachelor of Design Programme Co-ordinator Bing Dawe takes on the task of choosing the South Island’s best artwork when he ventures down to Wanaka this month for the Aspiring Art Prize.

He expects to find a range of art genres and standards. “Quite often it is the X factor – the work that won’t leave you alone. Often a winning work will stand out,” he says.

Bing has judged numerous prizes before. A well established and successful artist, he brings 35 years of experience in painting, sculpting and teaching to the role of judge. Since he graduated from the University of Canterbury School of Arts in the mid 1970's, Bing’s work has continued to be acquired for public and private collections in New Zealand and overseas.

Fellow judge, abstract painter and writer Alexandra Kennedy also studied at UC as well as the Dunedin School of Art. She has been exhibiting since the mid 1990's and currently lectures in History and Theory of Art at the School of Art, Dunedin.

The two judges will need to reach consensus on the winners, however, it is important artists don’t become discouraged if they don’t win, Bing says. “My fellow judge is a painter, she is younger and she works in abstract painting so that mix will produce a different result to another combination of judges.”

The patronage an art award attracts is important to the visual art sector, Bing says, because it gives both patrons and sponsors a forum for supporting artists. “A lot of artists and judges don’t like competitions as it goes against notions of creativity. But a lot of sponsors and patrons find it an effective way to get patronage across. If you subscribe to that sort of thing, then it is important that you get established and practising artists to do the judging.

“For a younger artist, winning can give a real boost to their profile, but for older artists it is more the personal, peer recognition that is important.”

The last time Bing entered a competition was when he won New Zealand’s longest running and largest annual art award, the Wallace Art Award, in 1999. Since then his skills have been required as a judge rather than a participant, although he says he still occasionally competes for commissions. During the visit to Wanaka Bing will also work on a private commission arranged through Gallery 33, which represents him in Wanaka.

Entries for the Aspiring Art Prize close on 9 December for an $11,000 total prize pool including a $5000 first prize sponsored by Craigs Investment Partners. The winners will be announced at a Gala Night/Exhibition Opening on 10 January and the exhibition runs until 14 January.

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