Academy Galleries

130 years: A long and proud history

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Welcome to the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts

We are self-funding Incorporated Society dedicated to the visual arts.  Since 1882, the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts has occupied a unique position for the arts in New Zealand, and Wellington in particular.  Throughout our illustrious history many of this country's finest Artists have been a part of our Journey.
We aim to benefit the community of New Zealand through the promotion, creation, understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts.  Regular exhibitions featuring new work from established and emerging artists throughout New Zealand are held in the Academy's architectural award-winning galleries.

Parkin Drawing Prize 2020

Open and will remain so.


This year’s Parkin Drawing Prize is open and will remain so despite the COVID 19 lock down. There is no human contact during the entry or selection of finalists phases.  The competition will proceed with finalists being selected in line with our original timeline.

 Selection of the winner and merit recipients may be able to proceed if we’re not in lockdown in late July.  This is irrespective of whether there are restrictions on the Academy Galleries being able to show an exhibition to the public. 

 We will regularly review the situation based on Government and Ministry of Health advice and will know more in four weeks when the current Alert Level 4 period ends. If opening non-essential businesses such as art galleries is delayed beyond the end of July we can consider rescheduling the exhibition.

 No scenario affects the entries, their close off date, or the selection of finalists.

 We encourage you to get creative during your isolation, create great art, and to enter please click here.


 Stay safe and well.



Parkin Drawing Prize 2019

Michael Dell wins Parkin Drawing Prize

Michael Dell from Nelson has won the 2019 Parkin Drawing Prize and a $20,000 cash prize – sponsored by Chris Parkin, arts patron and philanthropist.

Michael’s work ‘Every Valley’ measuring 1.9 metres by 1.4 metres, a charcoal drawing on a prepared canvas stretcher, was chosen as the winner from an impressive 472 entries nationwide and 78 finalists.

Read more here ....


Parkin Drawing Prize 2019

Shortlist Announced

This year’s shortlist for the prestigious Parkin Drawing Prize has been announced.  This year nearly 400 artists submitted nearly 500 works for consideration.  A shortlist of 79 has been chosen  after careful consideration by the selection panel. Congratulations to those who entered and to those who have been selected.
The shortlist can be viewed at
To read the media release about this year’s shortlist and finalists click here.
The winner of the $20000 prize will be announced at a gala event on 5 August by this year’s judge John Gow, along with ten merit recipients who receive $500 each. This will be followed by a month long exhibition season when all the finalists, merit award recipients and the overall winner’s works will be showcased at the Academy Galleries.  


Parkin Drawing Prize 2019

Call for Entries

Entries for the 2019 Parkin Drawing Prize are now invited. Artists are now encouraged to prepare for this year’s prestigious competition, which attracts a major cash prize of $20,000 and national recognition.

Founded by arts patron, businessman and philanthropist Chris Parkin, the national drawing prize is now into its seventh year and has grown into a well recognised and not to be missed competition. From approximately 500 entries, a portfolio of around 80 works are chosen by a judging panel for the annual exhibition. In addition to the premier prize, another 10 highly commended prizes of $500.00 are awarded.

Read more here ....

Unique view of NZ Army training

The New Zealand Army is offering the public a unique view of its newest soldiers in a photographic exhibition He Hōia Ahau — I Am Soldier.

Read more here ....

Award-winning quilt created in Hospital waiting rooms

Survival Instincts is a quilt that tells a story.

Created as a document of Philippa Doyle's husband's recovery from a near-fatal fall on the Tararua Ranges, the quilt was named best contemporary quilt at a Wellington exhibition.

Read more here ....

Etching on aluminium scoops 2018 Parkin Drawing Prize

Jacqui Colley from Lower Hutt, has been announced the winner of the 2018 Parkin Drawing Prize sponsored by Chris Parkin, arts patron and philanthropist.

Jacqui’s work Long Echo measuring 2.4 metres by 1.2 metres is a drawing etched on aluminium using acid and a combination of black oil pigment, was chosen as the winner from an impressive 463 entries nationwide and 72 finalists.

Read more here...


If you wish to support hundreds of New Zealand artists on an ongoing basis - join us today.
You may also like to view a summary of our current Strategic Plan, or read the Academy Rules.
The Academy's gallery is also available to hire for functions.


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