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


This year's event will take place at Whitecliffe at the end of June.


The sixth year of the event in 2016 was hosted by Unitec at their Snowhite Gallery and other Building One galleries from Friday 29 July to Friday 12 August. The judging panel was made up of artists Denys Watkins and Peata Larkin, and Artspace director Misal Adnan Yildiz.

Said Adnan Yildiz "The exhibition is a fresh one, and really reflecting the diversity, criticality and new materiality, which are also such urgent topics in our field today. So the students-now artists share a certain level of contemporaneity! This is great and motivating for me. I adore how it creates an exciting walk in the building, and attracts attention in relation to architecture and spatially problematic parts of the building. Among the works, there were some alternative, critical and risk taker presentations... The selection process was a tough one for me; I have experienced that I have needed to stand for the values, which shape my practice, and support different worlds, languages and forms of imaginations."  


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

Five winning entries were announced at an awards ceremony held on Thursday 28 July at Unitec's Building One, as follows: