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In memory of Grace and Hugh Adams

Grace Butler, Rata in the Gorge, oil on canvas.

560 x 760mm

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, 2021/125

The Grace Butler Memorial Foundation Award at Ara

An artist-in-residence award for an artist who is Canterbury-based or has an association with the region. Inclusive of a three-month grant, studio facilities and access to related resources at the Ara School of Art and Design.

Requests for expressions of interest from artists for the Grace Butler Memorial Foundation Award at Ara who have an association with the region of Waitaha Canterbury and whose practice gives consideration to place and environment, natural and/or built. The Award is biennial and comprises a $20,000 grant and three month residency with studio facilities and resources at Ara School of Art and Design. Dates for Expressions of interest for the 2023 - 2024 Award to be confirmed. 



About The Grace Butler Memorial Foundation Award at Ara

A Contemporary Art Award established in memory of Waitaha Canterbury artist Grace Butler (1886 – 1962), the Grace Butler Memorial Foundation Award at Ara is a biennial three month residency, inclusive of a grant of $20,000 and studio at Ara School of Art and Design.  (Established in 2017, recipients of the Award are:  Zina Swanson 2018, Louise Palmer 2020, and Ana Iti 2022).

The Award is for an artist who has an association with Waitaha Canterbury whose work “gives consideration to place and environment - natural and/or built.”   The Award was established by the artist’s daughter, Grace Adams (1923 – 2012), and the Grace Butler Memorial Foundation.

For more than four decades Grace Butler captured the light and colour of Waitaha Canterbury and in particular, the Arthur’s Pass region and New Brighton.  Her paintings bridged the divide between 19th century landscape painting and modernism in the 1930s.  As a woman artist, working in the early decades of the 20th century, Grace Butler’s paintings provided a model for the generation that followed, giving credibility to landscape as an appropriate subject for women artists.

The selection panel for the Award in 2022 are; Lecturer in Art History at the University of Canterbury, Rosie Ibbotson, artist and educator Kim Lowe, and senior curator at the Christchurch Art Gallery, Felicity Milburn. 

The Grace Butler Memorial Foundation and Ara Institute of Canterbury is “honoured and excited to be supporting the work of contemporary Canterbury artists and for the legacy of Grace Butler to contribute to advancing the visual arts in Aotearoa New Zealand for generations to come.”





The Award Process: Time Line

2024 Dates to be confirmed
Selection panel reviewed and announced

To be confirmed
Media announcement and requests for expressions of interest from artists announced

To be confirmed
Closing date for submissions 

To be confirmed
Selection panel meet to review and select the winner

To be confirmed
Winner of the Grace Butler Award for Contemporary Art is announced 

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