One of New Zealand’s longest running and most vibrant national contemporary art awards will open to the public at Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi, Sunday 16 February 2020.

The 2020 Molly Morpeth Canaday Award – Three Dimensional Art Form (MMCA 20), has more than $20,000 in prize money for emerging and established New Zealand artists. The Molly Morpeth Canaday Trust Major Award winner will take away $10,000, while the Akel Family Runner Up Award-winner will receive $4,000, and $2,500 will go to the winner of the Craig’s Investment Partners Youth Award.

Works will also compete for Highly Commended Awards of $1,000 from Arts Whakatane and Robinson Law. Merit Awards of $500 from Gordon Harris Ltd, Anne Tolley, 4 Art Sake Gallery and Crew Community Resources will also be presented at the opening night event. The sought after Diverse Graphics People’s Choice Award of $500 will be selected by visitor vote and announced towards the end of the exhibition, which will run until 12 April 2020.

Winners will be selected in a two-stage judging process. Three leading art practitioners have reviewed the 250 entries received in 2019 and selected the 55 final works that will form the MMCA 20 exhibition. These finalists will be assessed by Guest Judge Dr Ruth Watson and the winning results kept under strict secrecy until the awards ceremony on Saturday, 15 February 2020.

Throughout March and April, local and national artists will give free talks and workshops at Te Kōputu for those interested in exploring the best of three dimensional art practice in New Zealand.

MMCA 20 Coordinator Heather Hourigan says the Molly Morpeth Canaday Art Award seeks to stimulate and reward contemporary art making and discussion in New Zealand. “We’ve had such an exciting variety of works submitted this year,” she says. “I think the bar has really been lifted – yet again – and I’m looking forward to see all of these artworks once they are on display in our Exhibition Centre.”

The 2020 Molly Morpeth Canaday Art Award – 3D is presented by Arts Whakatāne in partnership with Whakatāne District Council. Molly Morpeth Canaday Trust is the primary award sponsor.