19th-23rd April NZ Mural Contest

Two years ago an event of unprecedented proportions occurred, the 2020 lockdown. Until that time words like Covid, global pandemics, isolation, and border closures were events of futuristic movies, and a word like ‘bubbles’ had completely different meanings. With this in mind, the theme for the 2021 /22 New Zealand Mural contest has a special purpose. The event, originally planned for October 2021, had to be postponed like so many events and activities in our recent history. So Katikati Open Air Art is pleased to announce that from Tuesday, April 19th until Saturday 23rd the event will be going ahead, but with a twist. To guarantee it happens, event organizers Katikati Open Air Art have planned a ‘virtual’ contest. This allows the selected artists the opportunity to paint their mini murals in the comfort and safety of their home studios. It also allows the two Australian artists the ability to participate. Seven New Zealand based artists, four from Tauranga, one from Waihi and two based in Wellington, along with the Aussies will be competing for $12,000 in prize money, and the June Carlton Memorial Trophy. To allow this year’s event to go ahead, a number of changes have had to be put in place. The first change is not having them compete together in Katikati, this will make it feel very different and we will certainly miss watching their progress in real time. Another change is they are painting on a large canvas, something a little different. These canvases will be collected to allow judging to take place a few weeks after the contest. But, one of the biggest changes to the contest, is that this time KOAA have selected the artist’s images they will be using to paint their portraits, this is where the relevance of the events of two years ago have a special meaning. ‘Katikati’s Unsung Heroes of 2020’ is the theme for 2022 contest. Along with the nine selected artists there has been nine nominated heroes chosen. They were nominated because of the roles they played during that period of time, they also all represent some of the various organisations that stepped up, supported and helped meet a lot of the needs of the people of the Katikati Community during that lockdown period. It is really only the tip of the ice berg, as there were so many others who also stood up and helped make a difference. KOAA felt we needed to remember the events of April 2020, a few weeks in our history that has had a huge effect on all of our lives. It’s also a reminder to us of the importance of continuing to be a caring and supportive community. You will be able to view progress each day on recorded Zoom painting sessions held twice daily, you will also get to meet the artists and their subjects. There will be a link available on the Katikati Open Air Art website –

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