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Senior kaiako - Rauangi Sandy Adsett (second row, sixth from left) has been recognised for his mahi at the 2018 Te Waka Toi Awards.

Sandy received the Te Tohu o Te Papa TongarewaRongomaraeroa Award, which recognises his artistic excellence and outstanding contribution to Māori arts.

The award citation acknowledges Sandy as a leading figure in contemporary Māori art.

“He is a painter with experience in carving, weaving, costume and stage design who has been active in marae decoration and restoration. A true exponent of merging the traditional with the contemporary, his distinctive style has been particularly influenced by the design of kōwhaiwhai in work easily recognised through intricate overlays of acrylic on board.”

The award caps a remarkable year for Sandy, who in May received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Massey University.

Sandy established Toimairangi in Hastings in 2002 and in 2005 was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to art. He has exhibited internationally and is a former winner of the Montana Art Award.

Other award winners this year include print maker and painter Marilynn Webb, who received the Te Tohu Aroha mō Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu - Supreme Award, weavers Ranui Ngarimu and Mere Walker, children’s writer and illustrator Gavin Bishop and archivist Tā Tipene O’Regan and Sir Pita Sharples.

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