Michael’s piece, Lost in Space, is a large-scale acrylic on canvas. This artwork depicts a planet-like earth, far away in the depths of space. Michael has a passion for drawing and painting, and this is his first time winning the IHC Art Awards.
This is not the first time that Michael’s work has been featured at the IHC Art Awards Gala event. His drawing, Yes, We’re All Safe in Our Beds placed in the Top 30 at last year’s event.
Michael works at Māpura Studios in Auckland. Māpura Studios hosts art classes and art therapy programmes for people of all ages with intellectual disabilities, as well as the wider community. Over recent years, a number of Māpura Studios artists have been successful in the IHC Art Awards – reaching the finals and winning top prizes.
Second prize of $2,000 went to Marion Gorton from Oamaru, and 3rd prize of $1,000 was won by Palmerston North artist, Malachi Oldridge, who also took out this year’s “People’s Choice Award” category.
There were 384 entries in this year’s Awards.
IHC Art Awards Ambassador, Dame Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, noted at the event that the awards, “showcase the brilliance and versatility of artists with intellectual disabilities from across the country.” This year marked a decade of Dame Denise’s involvement with the awards.
The top three prize-winners were picked out of 30 finalists nationwide and announced at Shed 6 in Wellington on Thursday 5 September. The finalists’ work was auctioned at the event, with all proceeds from the sales going solely to the artists.
The remaining Top 100 artworks from the 2019 IHC Art Awards are on show at the IHC Art Awards National Exhibition at Arts on High in Lower Hutt, through to Wednesday 11 September, where they are still available for purchase by the public.