The Arts Foundation Laureates

Each year in New Zealand, The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Awards celebrate New Zealand’s very best artists – the ones making a big splash in New Zealand.

These artists do all kinds of different things… some are movie directors, some painters, illustrators, musicians and dancers.

This year children’s story writer and illustrator Vasanti Unka was one of the seven artists given the award. Her drawings are well-known in New Zealand for being colourful, clever and incredibly detailed. She says “I’m inspired by everything around me. The darkest corners, the dullest shop fronts… I seek beauty in all things.”

Here are some other Arts Foundation Laureates you may have heard of; they’re making a big name for themselves overseas!

Taika Waititi is a powerhouse director, actor and comedian from New Zealand. He’s made some classic Kiwi films like Boy, Eagle vs Shark, Hunt for the Wilder People and is now directing for Hollywood – including the new Thor and an episode of the Mandalorian (Star Wars).

Jermaine Clement is a Kiwi comic, voice actor, and actor – the list goes on! Mum and Dad will know him from Flight of the Conchords. You might know his voice from Despicable Me (Jerry the Minion), Rio (Nigel), Moana (Tamatoa) or The Lego Batman Movie (Sauron).