Some info on our judging panel
Sarah Houbolt – arts coordinator, Auckland City Council, and circus performer
Sarah Houbolt is an international circus performer who likes to challenge perceptions through creating magical theatre infused with socio-political ideas. She learnt her craft at Vulcana Women’s Circus in Brisbane, and has performed with The Dust Palace since 2007. With a background in social work, community development and working with people with disability, Sarah offers an understanding of the importance of advocacy, rasing awareness and celebrating uniqueness through art. When she’s not performing, Sarah works as community arts coordinator (youth) at Auckland City Council.
Meagan Kerr – photographer
Meagan Kerr is an Auckland based photographer who is currently working towards a Design and Visual Arts degree at Unitec. With an artist mother and photographer grandparents, Meagan was encouraged to experiment with photography from an early age, and she discovered a passion for capturing the people and places that surround her. Meagan specialises in fashion and portrait photography, and enjoys exploring the natural beauty of her subjects.
Sophia Elise – Manager of NZ Art Guild
Sophia Elise is a founding member and manager of the NZ Art Guild. Founded in 2004 the NZ Art Guild is an award winning organisation that provides promotion, support, resources and opportunites for NZ visual artists. She has organised and curated many art events including exhibitions, charity art auctions, national art awards, Kumeu Art in the Garden festival.
Sophia is also an experienced abstract artist who has exhibited extensively in NZ and overseas in London and Italy. She is a participant of the ART Venture Programme and ART Generator Network, a member of the trust board of Mairangi Bay Art Centre and has judged their student and members exhibitions the last two years running.
Selene Simcox – editor of Gallery 36
Selene is a highly focused and self motivated artist who has a passion for painting. Recently her work has been exploring performance art, installation, sculpture and accumulation art. She also has a passion for arts management/curatorship, and working with other artists and curators. Selene is in her first year of Masters of Arts Management at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design in Auckland, and is inspired by abstract expressionism, graffiti, gestural mark making, performance, hybridity, and automatism.
Selene is the founder and editor of Gallery36, a pdf magazine that profiles emerging artists and photographers.
Daniel Mainwaring – poet, writer and actor
Daniel Mainwaring has been a poet, playwright and actor in Auckland for the past 7 years. His grandfather was a Hollywood screenwriter, blacklisted in the McCarthy era. Daniel’s work is strongly influenced by politics, and infused with an awareness of social injustice. He is an active youth and disability worker, and a cancer survivor. A founding member of the Peripeteia Theatre company, Daniel uses all his work as a way to reach out and build a more understanding community.