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Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga, in partnership with the Venetta Miles Trust, is delighted to announce the winners of the Miles Art Award 2022. The Miles Art Award is the Bay of Plenty’s premier art prize, with a cash prize of $10,000 for the Supreme Award. 

This year, due to the current Omicron outbreak and our concerns for the health of our community, the Award was announced via Facebook Live on Thursday 3 February, 6pm. Livestreaming the Award gave the artists, their friends and whanau the opportunity to celebrate safely while abiding by Covid-19 red traffic light restrictions. 

The virtual presentation took place in the Gallery’s upstairs exhibition space, with guest judge, Wellington-based curator and writer Aaron Lister in attendance. In addition to announcing the recipient of the Supreme Award and four other category winners, Lister and Tauranga Art Gallery Director Stephen Cleland conducted a ‘virtual tour’ of the exhibition, briefly discussing the high-calibre artworks on display and the merits of the prize-winning artworks. 

Aaron Lister, described the works selected as “an embodiment of the region’s creative powers. The exhibition includes a diverse range of media and address wide ranging questions, issues and histories. There are early career, mid career and established artists all making work very much grounded right here, 

right now. The exhibition showcases individual artists, but there’s also a real sense of a powerful collective energy at play.” 

The Supreme Award went to Tauranga-based artist Hannah Valentine for her work Anytime (make it happen), 2021. 

Judge Aaron Lister says “Anytime (make it happen) is an inticing sculptural proposition offered to the viewer and the Gallery. Echoing the aesthetics of strength training equipment, Valentine’s subtle wall-based sculptures feel like they might be more at home in a gym than a gallery, that they should be taken off the wall and activated in ways that go beyond a standard art experience. There’s a definite play on our cultural obsession with wellness and body sculpting—perhaps at the cost of other things. 

From 70 submissions to this year’s Miles Art Awards, 34 finalists were selected for the Prize exhibition. Open to artists residing in the larger Bay of Plenty region, the finalists’ works will be on display through May 2022, with the public also being able to have their say by voting for the Bay of Plenty Times People’s Choice Award recipient throughout the run of the show. 

The art works submitted have not been exhibited previously in a public exhibition. 

Prize recipients 

Miles Art Award Supreme Winner 

Hannah Valentine for Anytime (make it happen), 2021, cast bronze, beal cord, tubular webbing 

The Incubator Creative Hub Emerging Artist Award 

Justine Munn for Whakapapa, 2021, acrylic and gouache on canvas 

The Ethel MacMillan Award 

Carolynn Pulefale-Tepou for Echoes, 2021, mixed media 

The Tauranga City Council Award Jaime Jenkins for Bell Tower (blue), 2020, stoneware ceramic sculpture 

The Friends of the Tauranga Art Gallery Award 

Kyle Satler for Backfeed Blender (A response), 2021, single-channel video 

The Bay of Plenty Times People’s Choice Award 

*To be announced in May 2022. The winner will receive a feature article in the Bay of Plenty Times. 

aron Lister is Senior Curator (Toi) at City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi. He was previously Exhibitions Curator at the National Library of New Zealand, a lecturer in the Art History departments of Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Otago, and has worked as an independent curator and writer. He is Board Chair of CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa. He has worked on numerous important exhibitions, including the Wellington presentation of Hilma af Klint: Secret Paintings currently on display at City Gallery Wellington. 


Image: Miles Supreme Award Winner Hannah Valentine’s artwork Anytime (make it happen), 2021 

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