Young artists seize their chance

July 20, 2021

Eight young artists have their eyes on a new prize in the IHC Art Awards 2021.

The Youth Award is a new category in the IHC Art Awards this year, for artists aged between 13 and 17 years. When entries closed on 31 May, eight of the 356 artists entering were in the Youth Award category. The winner of this award stands to win $1500.

These artists are also eligible for the overall award of $5000 and the L’affare People’s Choice Award of $2000.

The winners will be announced at the gala awards night, to be held at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington on 30 September.

General Manager of IHC Programmes Janine Stewart says the decision to introduce the new category will ensure that up-and-coming artists are seen and celebrated on a national stage.

Another innovation this year is the participation of Wellington coffee company L’affare as sponsor of the People’s Choice Award. L’affare was established in Wellington in 1990 and is a pioneer of New Zealand’s café and coffee culture.

L’affare first became involved with the IHC Art Awards in 2020, when it hosted a special exhibition of top artworks in its flagship roastery and café in Wellington.

Auckland artists Otis Frizzell, Judy Darragh and Paul Hartigan will judge the IHC Art Awards this year. Jewellery designer, vocalist and former IHC judge Boh Runga will MC the event.

This year IHC Art Awards Ambassador Dame Denise L’Estrange-Corbet visited students at Opunake High School in March as part of her role to promote the awards. She also visited artists at The Papermill in Whangārei, the Manaaki Ability Trust in Lower Hutt and Aranui in Kilbirnie, Wellington. Dame Denise is co-founder of WORLD fashion house. She also creates opportunities for top IHC Art Awards artists to raise their profiles in the fashion and art communities through the WORLD Legacy Charity Project.

The IHC Art Awards is an annual showcase of the talent and achievements of people with intellectual disabilities.

More details, including dates for the L’affare People’s Choice Award voting and online auction, will be available at

Caption: Wellington artist Elyzah Warda was working on a painting of her boyfriend when Dame Denise L’Estrange-Corbet visited artists in Kilbirnie in Wellington. Elyzah has entered the 2021 IHC Art Awards.