Anzac Day opening hours

12:00AM 25 Apr 2024

Over the Anzac Day public holiday (Thursday 25 April 2024) some of our facilities will be closed or have reduced hours.

Find out more

Student artist’s take on confronting issue wins George Mason Visual Arts Scholarship

Arts Local News People Featured news

An artistic take on a confronting issue by artist Sukena Shah has seen the student win this year’s George Mason Visual Arts Scholarship.

The Year 13 New Plymouth Girls’ High School student took out the $3000 scholarship, managed by NPDC’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, for her work To be a Brown Woman.

The piece is the artist’s critical examination of the experience of women in post-colonization South Asia.

Sukena hopes to attend the University of Auckland next year to do a conjoint degree in law and the Fine Arts and says art can play a significant role in shining a light on situations people are going through.

“I hope this will help me change the lives of women in South Asia who suffer at the hand of uneducated men.

“Fortunately for me, my parents encourage me to participate in the arts (Visual Art and Drama) and to use it as a tool to expose the archaic mindsets that still linger in South Asia today.”

Sukena’s work "To Be a Brown Woman".

Sukena’s work "To Be a Brown Woman".

About the George Mason Visual Arts Scholarship

Administered by Govett-Brewster Art Gallery the scholarship encourages young artists that are not only academic achievers but also those who demonstrates drive and motivation towards a career in visual arts.

Students submit one piece from their school portfolio accompanied by a statement from the artist, the decision made by a selection panel.

Find out more about the George Mason Visual Arts Scholarship, as well as Sukena’s full artist statement and previous recipients at

Fast Facts

  • Govett-Brewster Art Gallery opened in 1970, funded by a bequest from local woman Monica Brewster (nee Govett)
  • The Gallery attracts around 60,000 visitors a year, with most coming from outside the district
  • The George Mason Visual Arts Scholarship was launched in 2016.

2022 George Mason Visual Arts Scholarship recipient Sukena Shah.