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Award Celebrates The Fine Art Of Drawing

3 September 2003

'Cranleigh Barton Award Exhibition'
Selected drawings from the Cranleigh Barton Drawing Award 2003
Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu
5 September - 16 November, 2003

The biennial Cranleigh Barton Drawing Award is one of New Zealand's most prestigious drawing competitions. The Award winners will be announced at a special opening event at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu on 4 September.

Displaying selected drawings from this year's competition, the Cranleigh Barton Award Exhibition will be presented by the Gallery from 5 September until 16 November. The exhibition will be made up of the works of the competition's 25 finalists. More than 100 submissions were received by the Gallery from around the country for this year's awards.

About the Award

Open to all New Zealand artists, the Award was established in 1993 to recognise excellence in drawing and to raise its status within visual arts education and practice. Offered biennially, the awards are made possible through the legacy of Canterbury watercolourist Cranleigh Barton (1890-1975) and are jointly presented by the Christchurch Art Gallery, the Canterbury Museum and the executors of Cranleigh Barton's estate, Guardian Trust, with support from The Drawing Room.

Cranleigh Barton was a lawyer by training but he had a life-long interest in art. Born in Fielding in the North Island, at age 16 he began taking art classes at Wellington Technical College. Barton later attended Victoria University of Wellington, graduating with a Bachelor of Law degree in 1912. He went on to balance his practice as a solicitor with part-time activity as an artist.

After moving to Christchurch in 1919, Barton exhibited with the Canterbury Society of Arts and the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. In 1924 he moved to England and studied at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London. While in England Barton exhibited with the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, the Royal Society of British Artists and the New English Art Club.

Despite returning to live Christchurch in 1930, Barton continued to travel widely overseas on painting trips over the following decades. A long-time resident of the Sumner-Redcliffs area, Barton was a well-known identity of the seaside suburb and was frequently involved in organisations associated with the area.

About the Gallery

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu opened on Saturday, 10 May 2003. Replacing the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, the Gallery is the largest art institution in the South Island and houses one of the country's foremost public art collections with over 5,500 items including paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, glass, metalwork and photography. Tony Preston was appointed Director of the then Robert McDougall Art Gallery in July 1995.

For more information, images and interviews:

Gerard Blank
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ddi: (64 3) 941 7381
mob: (021) 296 0043

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