Philip Vela Family Trust Supporting the Waikato Society of Arts

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The winner of the 2011 Waikato Society of Arts New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award is Taranaki artist John McLean. His Dinghy and waka with unstable foreshore was picked for the $20,000 prize from 52 finalists by judge Warwick Brown.

In addition, the work valued at $28,000 was purchased by sponsor, the Philip Vela Family Trust, netting the artist a stunning total of $48,000.  Lyn Vela represented the family.

“This year‟s show is of exceptionally high quality” said Brown “and selecting one work above the others was a most difficult task” The finalists range across most contemporary art styles from expressionist to minimalist.

The deciding point for Brown was that McLean‟s painting represented the high point of an important series that the artist has been working on for sometime.