IHC Art Awards judges announced

IHC Art Awards judges announced

31 March 2022
Media Release


IHC is pleased to announce actor Libby Hunsdale, artist and sculptor Simon Lewis Wards and social entrepreneur Sam Johnson as our 2022 IHC Art Awards judges.

Libby Hunsdale is a trailblazer in her work as an actor and model. She starred in the 2021 film Poppy and was the first lead actor to play a woman with Down syndrome in a feature film in New Zealand.

She will now be the first person with an intellectual disability to be on an IHC Art Awards judging panel.  

A rising star, Libby has featured in lifestyle magazine Viva, in a photoshoot with fashion label RUBY and is an ambassador for Project Employ. She was recently awarded the Best Actress in a Narrative Feature award at the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York.

Through her work, Libby continues to inspire more disabled people to move into the arts.

“Libby continues to be an inspiration to those with intellectual disabilities,” said IHC’s Janine Stewart, who has been involved with the IHC Art Awards since their establishment in 2004. “We’re delighted Libby is joined by Simon and Sam – each year I am impressed by both the calibre of the judging panel and the incredible talent of the artists.” 

Simon Lewis Wards is an Auckland-based sculptor. He works predominantly in ceramics and cast glass and is best known for his playful interpretations of iconic New Zealand candy.

After a four-year stint in Paris, Simon came home with a clear vision for his practice. He set up a studio in a repurposed vineyard high in the Waitākere ranges, where he now works on his projects, including large-scale public sculptures.

Sam Johnson has lived his life in the public eye and built a career doing service to others. He is the Chief Executive of the Student Volunteer Army, former Young New Zealander of the Year and most recently won the prestigious High-Tech Award for ‘Impact for Good’ with the SVA for their work during COVID-19.



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About the IHC Art Awards



The IHC Art Awards remains an annual highlight as a showcase for the talent and achievements of people with intellectual disabilities. Entries are open to New Zealanders aged 13 or over with an intellectual disability or an intellectual disability and autism, regardless of whether they use IHC, IDEA Services or Choices NZ services.

Each year, the awards are judged by a high-profile panel of New Zealand artists. In previous years, we have hosted Boh Runga, Oscar Kightley and Otis Frizzell on the judging panel.

Entries open for the 2022 IHC Art Awards on Sunday 1 May and close on Tuesday 31 May, with the winners of the First, Second and Third Place, L’affare People’s Choice and Youth Awards announced in July.

Like last year, the top 100 artworks will be on show at a Pop-up Gallery in Wellington. The artworks in the gallery will be for sale with artworks that don’t sell then auctioned via Trade Me. 100 percent of the sale or auction money will go directly to the artists themselves.   

Further information on the IHC Art Awards, including entry criteria, is available on the IHC website.

About IHC New Zealand

IHC New Zealand advocates for the rights, inclusion and welfare of all people with intellectual disabilities and supports them to live satisfying lives in the community. IHC provides advocacy, volunteering, events, membership associations and fundraising. It is part of the IHC Group, which also includes IDEA Services, Choices NZ and Accessible Properties.