Andy Tauafiafi, a third year Craft, Art and Design programme student, has won the first prize in the prestigious New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Millennium Youth Award. His entry in the national competition was developed in a printmaking class with tutor Chris White during the first term. It is called Freedom and is a large energetic multi-layered woodblock print.
As the winning entry, Andy's print was automatically put forward for the APEC Young Artists' Exhibition in connection with the upcoming APEC conference in Brunei. His work was judged best entry from all 21 countries and the prize is a free trip to Brunei.
Exhibiting with Andy were three classmates, Ewen Solomon, Ben Tapu and Dwayne Ailupotea, and a previous classmate, David Clarke. The doyen of New Zealand print makers, John Drawbridge of Wellington, announced the winner and commented on the particularly high quality of all the works entered.
Prime Minister Helen Clark opened the exhibition in the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts' new gallery on Queen's Wharf, Wellington, with comments about the value of arts education in maintaining the spirit of the nation.