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Māori Visual Arts professor wins prestigious Wallace Art Award

Bob Jahnke Lamentation

A picture of Bob Jahnke: Lamentation at the Hastings City Art Gallery.

Professor of Māori Visual Arts Robert Jahnke has been named the winner of the the Wallace Arts Trust Paramount Award for his Lamentation VI sculpture and will receive a six-month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York.

Lamentation VI, made of wood, glass, mirrors and fluorescent lights, is a collaboration with slam poet Te Kahu Rolleston. The artwork is from the exhibition Bob Jahnke: Lamentation, where he has collaborated with six poets and currently on show at the Hastings City Art Gallery.

Professor Jahnke, of Ngāi Taharora, Te Whānau a Iritekura, Te Whānau a Rakairoa o Ngāti Porou, won the Massey University Individual Research Excellence award earlier this year, adding to his many achievements, which include being made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for  services to Māori art in 2017.

An acknowledged research leader in the field of Māori and indigenous art, he regularly presents research papers, leads panels and gives keynote presentations at national and international conferences.

The International Studio and Curatorial Program is the premier residency-based contemporary art centre in the United States. It includes a studio, 24-hour access to facilities, support from on-site staff, the opportunity to attend lectures given by members of the New York arts community, field trips including out-of-town expenses, and a minimum of two open-studio exhibitions/receptions. The Paramount Award Winner also receives a bronze trophy by Terry Stringer. 

The annual Wallace Trust Art Awards were established in 1992 and are the longest surviving and largest annual art awards of their kind in New Zealand, with a value amounting to over $275,000. 

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