2024 Finalists Announced

We’re thrilled to announce that 30 outstanding New Zealand sculptors have been selected as finalists for this year’s awards.

The artists are vying for a prize pool of $25,000 with a Premier Award of $15,000.

Detail of ‘Harikoa – Aroā Nukunuku’ by Lissy and Rudi Robinson-Cole, Premier Award winners 2022

‘Wall Sculpture No.5’, bone sculpture by Sam Kelly, Premier Award Winner 2021

Information for artists and nominators

  • Artists are nominated for this award: either by themselves, their dealer, an arts organisation or any individual
  • Artists are nominated via the nomination form below
  • There are no application of exhibition fees: the only fees incurred by artist are transport of artworks to and from the finalists’ exhibition
  • If the artist does not have an online presence, images of samples of artworks and an artist bio must be sent to awards@artshow.co.nz
  • If an artist is nominated by someone else, the R.T Nelson Awards management team will notify the nominated artist, where possible
  • Nominations close November 30 – but, for those who don’t have an online presence, images of artworks and artist bio are not due until December 4
  • 20 finalists will be selected by December 8, 2023
  • Selected finalists will be notified whether they can submit 1 or 2 artworks
  • All the finalists artwork will be exhibited May 30 – June 2, 2024, hosted by the NZ Art Show at the TSB Arena, Wellington. All artworks will be for sale.
  • Weight and size limits: no more than 80 x 80 x 80 cm, and light enough so that one person can carry it comfortably

The judging panel will award the following:

  • Premier Award: 1 x $15,000
  • Highly Commended Award: 2 x $1,000
  • Finalist awards: $250 each

In addition, there will be a People’s Choice award of $2,000 as voted for by attendees.

Refer to the Artist timeline, and Terms and conditions below for further information. You must ensure that your artwork complies with our terms and conditions

Please contact awards@artshow.co.nz for any queries not covered in any of the information on this website.

About the awards

Molded. Cast. Carved. Assembled. Melted. Shaped.
Wood. Stone. Metal. Bronze. Clay. Glass. Textile. Mixed Media
Elegance. Excellence. Craftmanship.

These prestigious awards highlight the diversity of small-scale works so that art lovers can enjoy sculpture within their homes, and are open to all New Zealand sculptors.

The awards are valued at 25,000 with a Premier Award of $15,000, two Highly Commended Awards of $1000 each, and one People’s Choice Award of $2,000. In addition, the remaining finalists will receive $250 each.

Congratulations to the 2023 winners

Glass artist George Agius received a Highly Commended Award
Fine art jeweller Steph Lusted was a finalist

The 2023 winners were announced at a private function on June 1 by judge Lynne Sandri, with Lower Hutt ceramic artist Anna Campbell being awarded the $15,000 Premier Award

Read about the 2023 winners here.

Te Horo artist Studio Reset received a Highly Commended Award

Awards Founder

Richard T. Nelson is an avid art collector and philanthropist. Originally from the USA, Richard has called Wellington, NZ home for past 25 years

Richard’s love of sculpture started more than 50 years ago upon visiting a small gallery in Haiti. There he came across some beautiful works by a Haitian sculptor, Ludovic Booz. He purchased 3 elegant mahogany sculptures that he admires and appreciates to this day.

Degrees from Yale and Stanford Universities followed by a successful career in Investments has enabled Richard to pursue his love of art.

His collection holds contemporary pieces from around the world including Europe, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Haiti, Japan and Africa. His sculpture collection includes a considerable selection of smaller works, providing the inspiration for this award.

Richard appreciates the elegance and grace of sculpture, and wishes to reward technique and true craftsmanship through this award which he instigated in 2021.

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Artists and art lovers: if you would like to receive reminder notifications about the 2024 R.T Nelson Awards for Sculpture, please email us at awards@artshow.co.nz and we’ll add you to our mailing list.