In a collaborative venture with the four major Central Auckland art institutions, this Eden Arts initiative presents the very best student works from each of Elam, Unitec, AUT and Whitecliffe in a single exhibition, awarding a cash prize to the overall winner.

In February 2011, an Agreement was signed between the Eden Arts Trust and the four participating art schools, marking the official launch of the event. For Eden Arts, the new award seeks to complement our longstanding annual Young Artists Awards while extending the geographical area in which we can help to promote and support young artists.

Celebrating the signing of the inaugural Eden Arts Art Schools Award agreement 2011

L to R Andy Thomson (AUT), Tanya Eccleston (Unitec), Pam Wright (Eden Arts Board),
Megan Jenkinson (Elam), Nigel Copas (Eden Arts Board Chair), Michele Whitecliffe (Whitecliffe)


The award is open to full-time undergraduates. Five or six student entries are selected from each school and judged by independent judges appointed by Eden Arts. The Overall Winner receives $5,000. Three Highly Commended students each receive $1,000. The Eden Arts Board may also award an additional discretionary award of $500 - the Board's Choice.

Elam, Unitec, Whitecliffe and AUT rotate as the host institution, with Elam as the oldest hosting the inaugural award in July 2011 followed in order by Unitec, Whitecliffe and AUT.

Full registration details and rules of entry are available from the individual art schools or contact Cathy Manning from the Eden Arts Board at

The 2018 award will take place in July at AUT's St Paul St Gallery.




The seventh year of the event was hosted last year by Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design. Whitecliffe first hosted the event in 2013. 

The announcement of winners was made at an award evening Thursday 29 June (invitation event). The exhibition was open for public viewing from Friday 30 June to Monday 3 July in the Pearce Gallery and St Georges Bay Road Studios, 130 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell.

A team of independent judges, appointed by Eden Arts, judged the entries. Judging was strictly anonymous with no names or details of schools being made available to the judges. The judging panel was made up of artist Denys Watkins, photographer Edith Amituanai and Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery director Andrew Clifford.

A guided floor walk of the award exhibition was hosted by Eden Arts on Sunday 2 July. 


Congratulations to all of the 24 finalists representing their schools in this award.

View list of all 2017 finalists