Jim Allen honoured with Arts Foundation Icon Award
Michael Lett is delighted to congratulate Jim Allen (MNZM), widely considered a pioneer in his field, on his recognition
by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand as an Icon.
In a special ceremony held at the Auckland Art Gallery last night, Jim Allen has been presented with the Arts
Foundation’s most prestigious award. The Arts Foundation Icon Awards – Whakamana Hiranga, honour senior New Zealand
artists for their extraordinary achievements.
Arts Foundation Executive Director, Simon Bowden says, “Icons are artists whose work represents a legacy to, and a mark
on, our culture. Jim Allen is a hugely influential artist and we are thrilled to be able to call him an Arts Foundation
Limited to a living circle of artists, each Icon Award recipient receives a medallion crafted by stone artist, John
Edgar. The recipient’s name is engraved in the medallion, and is later returned to the Arts Foundation for presentation
to a future recipient. The artist also receives a pin, which is kept by the artists’ family in perpetuity.
The medallion, now held by Jim Allen, has a rich history. It was previously awarded to the late Barbara Anderson, who
received it from actor and film maker, Don Selwyn. In a moving tribute to her Grand-Mother, Lucy Anderson, a 23 year old
Auckland-based English Teacher, presented the accolade to Jim Allen.
Tina Barton, Director of the Adam Art Gallery, School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies at Victoria
University of Wellington delivered the citation. She said that Jim Allen has been described as “a pioneer of Post-Object
Art in New Zealand in the 1970’s. He is widely regarded as the most influential art educator of his generation both in
New Zealand and Australia. His transformation of the sculpture department at the University of Auckland’s Elam School of
Art into a ‘hothouse for ambitious experimental art’ occupies an almost ‘legendary’ place in the history of contemporary
art in New Zealand.”