Whakatane Summer Festival

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Whakatane Summer Festival

Whitecliffe Graduate wins Molly Morpeth Major Award

The Molly Morpeth Canaday Art Award has attracted interest from throughout NZ. From the 320 entries received this year 84 were selected as finalists.

This exhibition has grown and become a key event for emerging and established artists in NZ. Of the 84 finalists, 9 were Whitecliffe MFA and BFA graduates. This year the major award was shared between two artists one of whom is a Whitecliffe Master of Fine Arts graduate: Virginia Leonard. Virginia was joint winner with Jasmine Middlebrook, receiving $10,000 for their success. Virginia's abstract work was entitled "Fairy". The judge, well known artist and art educator, Dr Marilyn Webb from Otago Polytechnic, said of Virginia’s work: “It has a very dense field which is expressive and colourful. It also exhibits very controlled surface tensions amongst its multi-layered surfaces which suggest the artist has not thrown paint on the canvas but has contemplated the work before the act of painting“. Whitecliffe finalists included both MFA and BFA graduates and students: Lisa Chandler (MFA), Owen Dippie, Matthew Dowman, Priscilla Hunter, Angela McKenzie, Paris Kirby, Rose Meyer and Anna Sharman. Rose Meyer (BFA graduate 2011) received a merit award of $500. Ohope residents, Heather Hourigan (MFA, 2001), Pat Long (MFA, 2006) and Adrienne Ranson (MFA, 2004) were involved with the organisation and hanging of the exhibition , they were assisted by Whitecliffe students. Henrys Symonds, Dean of Instruction and Undergraduate studies gave a floor talk on Sunday which was well received by a large audience.

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