The C Art Trust

Unique opportunity to support contemporary artists

A unique vehicle to support our contemporary artists is available through the C Art Trust which co-ordinates a group of patrons to provide an award of $50,000 to support one of New Zealand’s mid-career contemporary artists for a period of 12 months. 

Patrons are invited to contribute $3,500 to support the C Art Trust Award of $50,000. As the C Art Trust is a registered charity under the Charities Act 2005, patrons are eligible for a tax credit.

Those interested in becoming patrons for the next award can contact the Trust at info@carttrust.nz  

The award responds to the fact that our contemporary artists are creatively rich but time poor. The small size of the market, the buying patterns of collectors and cost of materials mean that contemporary artists frequently need other jobs and have insufficient time to experiment and advance their practice.

For the artist, the award provides the time and space for artistic exploration and experimentation. It frees them up from paid employment so that they can focus time and energy on their projects allowing them to develop a new body of work to show and sell commercially. This has proved the case for all previous awardees: Jeena Shin, Andrew Barber, Anoushka Akel, and Georgie Hill. The Trust, now embarking on its fourth round, offers this opportunity for interested patrons to join what is now an established, successful and notable feature of the contemporary art scene in New Zealand. For this forthcoming year the Trust has selected Christina Pataialii (represented by McLeavey Gallery) as its awardee. 

Why become a patron?

Painting is easy when you don’t know how but very difficult when you do.

This ironic sentence, attributed to the French artist Edgar Degas, alludes to the serious nature of art making and the effort and time needed to develop an artist’s practice. It gestures to a dilemma shared both by artists and collectors. The C Art Trust award enables the awarded artist to create a substantial body of work over a period of 12 months.

For contributing patrons, The C Art Trust provides a unique path to engage with the practice of a promising mid-career contemporary artist. The Trust organizes a patron’s programme, providing opportunities to engage with the awarded artist during the year of their award. Thus the venture has valuable educational and social aspects. Patrons can develop their appreciation and enjoyment of contemporary art in conversations with the artist, curators, galleries and fellow patrons.

How The C Art Trust affects the growth of contemporary art market

The contemporary art collector is as important a part of a vibrant contemporary art community as are public and private galleries, curators and artists. A responsive audience, which appreciates the thinking involved in the making and viewing of contemporary art, has the potential to grow public and private gallery audiences for contemporary art generally. The C Art Trust plays a part in building a wider audience for contemporary art by connecting that audience with artists and galleries who can guide viewers in ways of looking at, appreciating and responding to contemporary art. Such an opportunity enables patrons to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of contemporary art practice and, in particular, New Zealand contemporary art.

The key concepts are:

  • Fostering the connection between a community of patrons, artists and galleries
  • Providing financial support to an artist over a 12 month period
  • Creating an opportunity for artists to further their practice
  • Stimulating an interest in collecting contemporary art through connecting people to the private gallery sector, which in turn contributes substantially to the development of artists.


About the C Art Trust

The C Art Trust is a philanthropic charitable trust established to support and promote the work of New Zealand contemporary artists. Its broader objectives are to:

  • develop audiences for New Zealand contemporary art;
  • encourage the appreciation and understanding of contemporary art practices; and
  • encourage the collecting of New Zealand contemporary art.

Members of the C Art Trust Board are collectors and/or artists:

Matthew Abel
Nerissa Barber
Margaret Malaghan
Simon Morris
Richard Moss
Grace Ridley-Smith
John Schiff