Art Awards 2018

The IHC Art Awards provides artists with an intellectual disability the opportunity to have their talent recognised, their voices heard and to sell their work. It highlights the talent and achievements of people with intellectual disabilities.

Becky Donovan wins 2018 IHC Art Awards

An intricately detailed drawing by Dunedin artist Becky Donovan (centre) has won the 2018 IHC Art Awards and $5000.

Becky’s piece, Cat, after Barry Cleavin, is a tribute to Christchurch-based printmaker Barry Cleavin. She used graphite to copy a Barry Cleavin image, and then experimented with erasing what she’d done. Her intricately detailed stalking cat has its skeleton visible in some places.

This is not the first time that Becky’s work has been featured as a finalist in the IHC Art Awards. Her drawing, Fashion Models, came second in 2016.

Becky works at the IDEA Services Art Space studio in Dunedin. Art Space hosts between 30 and 35 artists with an intellectual disability. Over recent years, a number of Art Space artists have been successful in the national IHC Art Awards – reaching the finals and winning top prizes.

Second prize of $2000 went to Amanda Brennan (right) and third prize of $1000 was won by Colleen Buear (left). For the third year in a row the top three prizes went to an all-female line-up of artists.

There were 428 entries in this year’s Awards. At the gala event Art Awards Ambassador Dame Denise L’Estrange-Corbet noted this resulted in a broad range of mediums. “As well as the sheer volume of artwork, I am particularly impressed by the wide variety of media and themes, showcasing the versatility and scope from the people here in this room.”

The top three prize-winners were picked out of 30 finalists nationwide and announced at Shed 6 in Wellington on Thursday 26 July. The finalists’ work was auctioned at the event, with all proceeds from the sales going solely to the artists.

People's Choice Award

Manukau City artist Charlize Wilson has won the 2018 IHC Art Awards People’s Choice Award for her work, Looking Out from the Inside.

Looking Out from the Inside was selected as the favourite from the 30 finalists in this year’s IHC Art Awards, receiving a whopping 3,129 votes - an unprecedented number of votes for any winner of the People’s Choice category.

Olivia Wynn’s hand formed bowl, Bubble Bowl, came in second with 2,964 votes, closely followed by Isaac Tait’s abstract work, Illusion, which received 1,394 votes in total.

Looking Out from the Inside is an abstract work portraying a person sitting a chair looking out from the inside. The piece was created using acrylic paints on canvas.

Charlize will be presented with the People’s Choice Award and her prize of $1000 on Thursday 26 July at the IHC Art Awards gala evening at Shed 6, in Wellington. At the same time, the winners of the top three prizes for the 2018 IHC Art Awards will also be announced and all 30 finalist artworks auctioned, with all proceeds going directly to the artists.

Dame Denise L’Estrange-Corbet – IHC Art Awards Ambassador

Dame Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, is co-founder of internationally acclaimed fashion house WORLD. Denise has been involved with the IHC Art Awards since 2009 and became an Ambassador in 2016, something she is very honoured to do.

In 2009 she met an artist through the Art Awards, and has employed this lady part time in WORLD's Head Office since then. "It is about supporting people in whatever way you can. They give back so much more than you could ever imagine, we have learnt so much from Jojo," Denise says.


2018 IHC Art Award Judges

Jae Kang


Jae Kang is a South Korean-born artist based in New Zealand, known primarily for her large scale gallery and outdoor public installations. Jae's ethos is socially engaged, producing generous, layered works accessible to the general public. She also displays an interest in community participation, often developing pieces people can touch and with public programmes an integral component of the work. She has a substantial history producing outdoor public sculpture and regularly exhibits two dimensional drawings in a range of media including pencil, ink and adhesive tape.

Currently, Jae is exhibiting a Dansaekwha drawing installation Wave of breath at Tauranga Art gallery and an interactive installation show Knot Tough for children and disabled people at New Zealand's Maritime museum. She has also recently been appointed for an outdoor sculpture show in Canberra 2018 and Sculpture on the Gulf 2019.


Tim Walker


Tim Walker is an Auckland-based arts and culture consultant. After three decades in the art gallery sector (as fine arts curator at Waikato Museum, senior art curator at National Art Gallery/Te Papa and director at The Dowse) he set up his own company and now works with arts organisations, government departments, local government, iwi and tourism operators throughout New Zealand.

Sarah Wilkins


Sarah Wilkins is a visual artist who works globally for the publishing, advertising and design worlds. She has lived on and off in Paris for more than 12 years. Her clients include the L.A. Times, Barnes & Noble, Time Magazine, UNESCO and United Airlines. Her work has been awarded by Communication Arts, American Illustration, The Society of Illustrators, The World Illustration Awards and the Taipei International Book Exhibition.

In New Zealand she was awarded the Russell Clark Medal for illustration and has illustrated 5 children’s books to date. Her latest book 'The Longest Breakfast' written by Jenny Bornholdt is one of the Storylines Notable Books of 2018.

The Holdsworth Charitable Trust

IHC would like to acknowledge and thank the Holdsworth Charitable Trust for once again generously supporting the IHC Art Awards in 2017. The Holdsworth Charitable Trust has been the major sponsor of the IHC Art Awards since 2014 and IHC is extremely proud of the long association between the Holdsworth Charitable Trust and the IHC Art Awards.


Read about the 2017 Art Awards