Visual arts

What we mean by Visual arts

Visual arts includes, but is not limited to, drawing, experimental sound/audio and moving-image arts projects, installation, kōwhaiwhai, painting, performance within a visual arts context, photography, printmaking, sculpture, tā moko, and typography. Visual arts also includes customary and contemporary practices of all the peoples of Aotearoa/New Zealand, including Māori and Pasifika peoples and the diverse cultures of people living in Aotearoa/New Zealand today

Track record requirements

For a visual artist, success means at least one public exhibition of a body of work that achieved a degree of critical or sales success. This can be a solo show or as part of a group exhibition, but not as part of a course of study.

For a visual arts curator, success means having curated work that was exhibited at a gallery and that received a degree of critical acclaim.

Visual arts activities we support

We fund a range of activities, for example:

Developing or presenting work

  • Researching or creating new bodies of work.
  • Commissions for public artwork.
  • Crating and freighting an exhibition of work to tour within New Zealand.
  • Creating New Zealand work for exhibition within New Zealand art galleries or public spaces (we will usually give priority to exhibitions held at public art galleries).

Developing skills and audiences

  • Residencies in New Zealand or overseas.
  • Mentoring and internship programmes.
  • Workshops, wānanga, fono, forums, masterclasses, seminars and other opportunities for creative and professional development for New Zealand visual artists and practitioners.
  • Initiatives for audience development.

Projects with international connections

  • International touring of high-quality and distinctive New Zealand visual artworks.
  • Publishers attending international art book fairs
  • International opportunities for professional or creative development for New Zealand visual artists and practitioners.
  • Visits by international critics and curators that will directly benefit New Zealand visual arts and artists.

Other visual arts projects

  • Community arts projects that focus on professional artists and practitioners working with communities, or that have regional or national significance.
  • Researching, writing, producing, publishing or distributing exhibition catalogues, monographs, essay series, and critical writing about New Zealand visual artists and arts.
  • Documentary or archival projects that focus on visual arts or an artist.​
  • Organising or attending conferences.