Awards for the young at art

Emma Prill is the judge for the inaugural Acorn Foundation Junior Art Awards 2021. Photo: John Borren.

Young artists across the Bay of Plenty now have cause to be excited with the announcement of a new art award specifically for them.

Tauranga Art Gallery, in partnership with the Acorn Foundation, is organising the inaugural Junior Art Awards. Young people from the Bay of Plenty aged four to 14 years have the opportunity to participate.

“We are really excited to announce that local well-known artist Emma Prill has signed up to judge the awards,” says Tauranga Art Gallery’s marketing manager Emma Bossley.

Emma Prill, a Tauranga based artist, has a passion for working with vibrant colours, and is well-known for creating exquisitely made flower gardens using acrylic on canvas. Her original art and quality prints have been shown in art exhibitions both in NZ and internationally.

She runs art workshops for adults and children, and an exhibition of her work titled ‘Colourfield’ was shown at the Tauranga Art Gallery in late 2018. Emma won the Miles Art Award 2014: People's Choice Award and was a finalist in the 2016 Miles Art Award and 2017 Molly Morpeth Art Awards.

“The theme of nature is obviously very broad and open to interpretation in quite a number of ways,” says Emma. “I’m looking forward to seeing how children interpret this theme in a way that is meaningful, significant and original to them.

“Nature has a personal significance as we are surrounded by beautiful nature in New Zealand, but also globally we are becoming more aware of the significance of nature and the preservation of it.”

Entries are now open for the Acorn Foundation Junior Art Awards. Young people are invited to create a piece of art in the theme ‘Te Taiao: Nature’ and upload a high-resolution image of it to the Tauranga Art Gallery online form.

There are cash prizes available and the opportunity for works to be shown at the gallery in April. Entries close on February 26, at 4pm.

The exhibition in April will also include a Treasured Art Auction which will raise funds for the Graeme Dingle Foundation and the Tauranga Art Gallery Kids Art Bus.

To learn more about the Acorn Foundation Junior Art Awards entry criteria, visit: To submit an entry, visit:

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