Chartwell Trust Student Art Writing Prize


The Chartwell Trust Student Art Writing Prize is an annual award that asks students of Victoria University of Wellington to write a review or essay about an exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery or a work from the Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection.

Carrying a value of $500, the prize is generously sponsored by The Chartwell Trust which provides support and patronage to a number of selected art projects, galleries and artists, with the central aim of providing opportunities for the encouragement of understanding about art both within the public art sector and the wider community.



The judges of this year’s prize were Geoff Stahl, Senior Lecturer in the School of English, Film, Theatre and Religious Studies, and Stephen Cleland, current Curator at the Adam Art Gallery.

The judges note:

We were highly impressed with the quality of the writing presented and this made the task of selecting a winner very challenging. In particular we wish to make special mention of a number of contributions:

Holly Fiena O’Connor’s writing, which reflected on the cultural underpinnings of Nalini Malini’s exhibition at the Adam way back in 2003, by the topic alone put our historic knowledge of the Adam Art Gallery’s programme to the test. While Anneke Prins’ essay Atmospheric Imprints, gave articulate insights for the Drawing Is/ Not Building exhibition from an architectural practitioner’s perspective. Other strong submissions included Caterina Detti’s in-depth analysis of Keith Tyson’s video in the recent exhibition The Specious Present, and Stella Carruthers’s close reading of Gordon Tovey’s Feilding Panel in the VUW Art Collection, which interpreted the carved panel through Tovey’s highly influential role as an advocate for Maori arts education.

The winner of this year’s Chartwell Trust Art Writing Prize is Kari Schmidt, whose essay, simply titled The Specious Present, gives a lucid, perceptive and insightful textual response to the most recent Adam Art Gallery exhibition. It offered a thoughtful rumination on the exhibition in the form of a considered reflection, demonstrating a maturity of thinking and a style of writing that was as engaging as it was engaged.

Congratulations Kari!



Simon Gennard winner 2014

Nalin Samountry winner 2013

Hadleigh Tiddy’s winner 2013

Katherine Emma Ng winner 2012 [PDF]

Sharon Taylor-Offord winner 2011 [PDF]

Kath Foster winner 2010 [PDF]

Abby Wendy winner 2009 [PDF]

Jamie Morris joint winner 2008 [pdf]

Meredith Parkin joint winner 2008 [PDF]

Stella Ramage winner 2007 [PDF]