A look back at last year's event, held at Webb's Auction House, Mt Eden. 


The judges for 2020 were artist Peata LarkinCurator | Kaitiaki Whakaaturanga at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery Chloe Geoghegan and freelance writer and curator Francis McWhannell


There was a guided tour of the award exhibition on the last day of the show. This was an opportunity to hear some of the participating students talk about their work and receive insights from within the judging panel.


Congratulations to the twenty finalists in this year's award. 

View list of all 2020 finalists

The 2020 award winners are:

Gallery 2020 

A look back at the 2019 event, held for the first time at Webb's Auction House, Mt Eden.


The judges were artist Sara HughesCurator | Kaitiaki Whakaaturanga at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery Ioana Gordon-Smith and freelance writer and curator Francis McWhannell

Winners 2019 

Congratulations to all 21 finalists in the awards.

The 2019 award winners were:

  • Overall Winner - Oliver Cain (Unitec), "Communal Conversation & Chewed Nipples"
  • Highly Commended - Jazmin Snoswell (Elam), "Umwelt 1, Umwelt 2, Umwelt 3"
  • Highly Commended - Samuel Montgomery (Unitec), "Refuge Trap"
  • Highly Commended - Hannah Ireland (Elam), "I'm so bad with names"
  • Board’s Choice - Arlen James (AUT), "18 Picton Street, 2014"

L to R Jazmin Snoswell, Oliver Cain, Samuel Montgomery, Arlen James, Hannah Ireland

View list of all 2019 finalists

Gallery 2019 

A look back at the 2018 event, held at AUT University's School of Art & Design at their ST PAUL St Gallery. AUT first hosted the event in 2014. This year completes the second four-year host rotation of the award between the four art schools....


The 2018 judging panel was made up of artists Denys Watkins and Peata Larkin, and Te Tuhi Artistic Director Gabriela Salgado


Congratulations to the 20 finalists put forward by their art schools to take part in the award.

View list of all 2018 finalists

The 2018 award winners were:

Gallery 2018

A look back at the 2017 event, held at Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design. Whitecliffe first hosted the event in 2013.

Judges 2017

The judges were artist Denys Watkins, photographer Edith Amituanai and Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery director Andrew Clifford.


Congratulations to all of the 24 finalists representing their schools in this award.

View list of all 2017 finalists

Gallery 2017

A look back at the 2016 event, held at Unitec...

Judges 2016

The sixth year of the event in 2016 was hosted by Unitec at their Snowhite Gallery and other Building One galleries. The judging panel was made up of artists Denys Watkins and Peata Larkin, and Artspace director Misal Adnan Yildiz.

Said Adnan Yildiz "The exhibition is a fresh one, and really reflecting the diversity, criticality and new materiality, which are also such urgent topics in our field today. So the students-now artists share a certain level of contemporaneity! This is great and motivating for me. I adore how it creates an exciting walk in the building, and attracts attention in relation to architecture and spatially problematic parts of the building. Among the works, there were some alternative, critical and risk taker presentations... The selection process was a tough one for me; I have experienced that I have needed to stand for the values, which shape my practice, and support different worlds, languages and forms of imaginations."  


Congratulations to all of the 24 finalists representing their schools in this award.

View list of all 2016 finalists


A look back at the 2015 event, held at the Gus Fisher Gallery...


2015 saw the 4 year cycle recommence with host Elam School of Fine Arts at the Gus Fisher Gallery.

Making up the judging panel for the 2015 event were artists Denys Watkins and Mary-Louise Browne, and gallerist Melanie Roger.

Said Mary-Louise Browne "I would like to congratulate all the art students who have presented their work for us to judge. They are all up against the same challenges. The existence of the student loan has taken the place of the student grant and so a student art award now allows for a whole glorious jumble of new works to be seen outside of the studio and assessment. 

So what criteria did we use? We used what was there in front of us. We looked and we found:  skill - edge - activism - grace - intellect - science - standards - anarchy - wit - resistance - daring - optimism"


View list of all 2015 finalists


A look back at the 2014 event, held at St Paul St Gallery...


Our judging panel for 2014 was made up of NBR arts writer John Daly-Peoples (lead judge for this first four-year cycle), Auckland Art Gallery director Rhana Devenport and iconic New Zealand artist Dick Frizzell.

Says Rhana Devenport: "This is a remarkable exhibition that articulates the mood and concerns of young Auckland artists working today. John Daly-Peoples, Dick Frizzell and I were equally impressed with the strength of vision and the breadth of materials at play in these works. From vestiges of Arte Povera to the possibility of painting today, from the immediacy of video to communicate social realities to poetic extensions of digital animation and photography; these works push and pull at our senses and deliver an overwhelmingly optimistic stance about the state of art practice today."


View list of all 2014 finalists

Gallery 2014

A look back at the 2013 event, held at Whitecliffe...


NBR arts writer John Daly-Peoples, Two Rooms Gallery Associate Paula Savage and NZ Herald arts columnist Janet McAllister.

Says Janet McAllister on behalf of the judging panel: “It was pleasing to see such a diverse array of art practices, including moving image, performance, photography, sculpture, installation and painting. The works explored multiple themes and issues, including power and persuasion among multi-national technology merchants; tensions of art patronage; earth as a marker of transience as well as identity; the use of public space as one’s own personal stage.

We chose works for commendation which are bold and striking, and just as importantly, are cohesive and coherent, with each of their individual elements supporting the others.

It was great to see glimmers of humour in some of the works, and to be part of an event which brings art students together from across Auckland to be inspired by each other.”


View list of all 2013 finalists

Gallery 2013

A look back at the 2012 event, hosted by Unitec...


NBR arts writer John Daly-Peoples, Auckland Art Gallery director Chris Saines and Art News editor Virginia Were.

Says Chris Saines on behalf of the judging panel: “It was immensely stimulating to be part of this year’s judging panel. We were greatly impressed by the standard, the ambition and, at moments, the risk-taking of the work. This is a brilliant opportunity for art students to really take the measure of how their work functions at a public level. We hope it causes them to reflect on what they are producing, and why, and whether or not it’s engaging an audience as they’d hoped. I think everyone involved in the presentation of Eden Arts should take pride in what’s been presented at Unitec’s Building 1. With the building itself being such an active agent in the exhibition, it’s difficult to imagine a more lively setting for these awards.”


View list of all 2012 finalists

Gallery 2012

And a quick flashback to our inaugural event in 2011, hosted by Elam...


NBR arts writer John Daly-Peoples, owner of Seed Gallery Kate Mullins and new Artspace director
Caterina Riva.

Said John Daly-Peoples: “We were impressed with the overall quality of work from all the art schools. The fact that all 4 schools turned out to be in the top 4 places is a testament to the schools, their tutors and the uniformly high level of teaching across all 4 institutions. The works showed a high degree of technical skill as well as refined thinking about their practices. Students used the art of the past and present to make relevant and illuminating comments on personal social and environmental issues.” 


View list of all 2011 finalists

Gallery 2011


In February 2011, an Agreement was signed between the Eden Arts Trust and the four participating art schools, marking the official launch of the event. For Eden Arts, the new award seeks to complement our longstanding annual Young Artists Awards while extending the geographical area in which we can help to promote and support young artists.

Celebrating the signing of the inaugural Eden Arts Art Schools Award agreement 2011

L to R Andy Thomson (AUT), Tanya Eccleston (Unitec), Pam Wright (Eden Arts Board),
Megan Jenkinson (Elam), Nigel Copas (Eden Arts Board Chair), Michele Whitecliffe (Whitecliffe)