Samuel Montgomery and Michaela van der Laan, students in the Bachelor of Creative Enterprise programme, received two out of the three Highly Commended Awards in the recent Eden Arts Art Schools Award 2018. They both received $1,000 in prize money.
The overall winner was Evelyn Tautakitaki (AUT) who received $5,000 in prize money, while the third Highly Commended award went to Vivian Jin from Elam. The Eden Arts’ Board’s Choice of $500 was awarded to Rhea Maheshwari (AUT).
The judges were artists Denys Watkins and Peata Larkin, and Te Tuhi Artistic Director Gabriella Salgado.
The Eden Arts Art Schools Award brings together Central Auckland's four major art institutions: AUT, Elam, Unitec and Whitecliffe. Five undergraduate students were selected from each school. The other finalists from Unitec were Saynab Muse, Harriet Reihana and Ed Wheeler.
"It was an honour to represent Unitec at the Eden Arts awards, having my work being recognised by receiving a highly commended award and by leaving my mark at St Paul Street Gallery. This was an interesting learning experience for me and I have a lot of gratitude for everyone involved," said Samuel Montgomery.
"For me, it was a hell of a lot of fun installing my artwork over the week in the gallery space. Hats off to the great team at St Paul Street Gallery for making the experience a smooth and enjoyable one! I felt privileged to be a part of the Eden Arts Awards and especially want to thank my teachers who endlessly push me and the staff at Unitec who made it all possible!" said Michaela van der Laan.
Eden Arts is a charitable arts trust formed over 30 years ago with the purpose of supporting the arts in the greater Mt Eden area. The Trust’s flagship event is the annual Artists in Eden Day in March, proceeds from which fund an annual calendar of events including prize money for tertiary students as well as for the long-established Young Artists Awards every September. Eden Arts’ most recent new initiatives include the annual Mt Eden Chamber Music Festival launched in 2016 and a new artist residency at Karekare Beach which opened in 2018.