May 12, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Maori Art scoops four top awards at Canada’s World Art Market

2 min read

Maori art has dominated the awards ceremony at the inaugural World Indigenous Art Market (WAM!) hosted by the Museum of Anthropology in Canada.

Those attending the award ceremony were surprised as the work of Maori artists collected four top awards from a total of six categories and over 100 artworks from around the world.

The international judging panel was not aware that the four artworks were by Maori artists as they judged solely on design, aesthetics and craftsmanship. The judges commented on the detailing and quality of the works, saying each piece deserved accolades.

Tia Kirk, manager of Iwi Art gallery in Wellington that entered the Maori artwork into the competition stated that she only entered 4 pieces in total and was thrilled with the success of four of the artworks.

It was an honour to be invited to take part in WAM!, and I am thrilled by the recognition Maori art has received. Clearly Maori art is firmly positioned on the world stage, and quality Maori art is taken seriously as an art form overseas… Iwi Art Gallery has long promoted the uniqueness and allure of quality Maori art and this success will help bring home to our own people the esteem with which it is held by people overseas and, particularly, by international art experts, she said.

The inaugural WAM! Will be an annual event hosted by the Museum of Anthropology, part of the University of British Columbia in Canada. The event focuses on high quality traditional and contemporary indigenous art from around the globe. Leading artists from the North West Coast, Tibet, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand were represented, and the organisers were very happy with success of the three-day event, with thousands of art lovers attending from around the world.

The prizes awarded to the four Maori artists at the WAM! Awards ceremony:

  • Clive Fugill, Ngai Te Rangi (master wood carver) 1st Place in 3D Art category
  • Fiona Jones, Rongowhakaata (weaver) 1st Place in Out Of The Box category
  • Rangi Kipa, Taranaki (mixed media) 1st Place in Jewellery category
  • Matthew McIntyre Wilson, Taranaki (weaver, jeweller) 2nd Place in Jewellery category

Te Waka Toi, the Maori Arts Board of Creative New Zealand, has supported Iwi Arts participation at the World Art Market.

Tia Kirk is available to talk to media on 04 8033253
For more information, visit the WAM website at:

BTW, Iwi Art is’s favourite Gallery in all of Aotearoa!! Mean Tia and whanau, inspiring!

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