Following the recent release of its 2023 Prestige Collection, award-winning Hawke’s Bay winery Church Road is proud to announce the recipient of the inaugural Church Road Art Initiative – Reece King, where MTG Hawke’s Bay will display his work as part of its permanent collection.

Selected by a jury including Chris Scott, Church Road’s Chief Winemaker, Toni MacKinnon, MTG Hawke’s Bay Curator, and Becky Hemus, the Editor-in-Chief of New Zealand art magazine The Art Paper, King – an artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau, and whose paintings are well regarded for their restless energy – was chosen for his sense of initiative and his enthusiasm for his preferred medium.

“There are so many phenomenal artists around Aotearoa at the moment, so I am honoured to have been selected as the recipient of this inaugural prize,” said King of the announcement. “I wish to thank Church Road for purchasing and donating my painting to the Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust; I think it’s a goodie and I’m so glad it’s going to a public collection where locals can enjoy it for years to come.”

He continues: “And a shoutout for supporting painting and art – these are weird times, and painting itself is weird. It helps people slow down and process in a unique and vital way. A very big thanks to the judges and thank you to my friends and family for the ongoing encouragement and aroha.”

Reece King was born in Tāmaki Makaurau in 1989 and grew up at Te Henga on the west coast. In 2020 he was part of the group that founded Auckland ‘painter-run’ space, Sanc. He completed a Masters in Painting at Unitec in 2021. His work is held in private and public collections around Aotearoa and Australia, including the Toi o Tāmaki Auckland Art Gallery collection. In 2021 he was awarded the KareKare house residency and in 2020 was the New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award winner.

Part of a multiyear partnership with MTG Hawke’s Bay, the Church Road Art Initiative is designed to support the career trajectory of an emerging New Zealand artist, and to add to the cultural vibrancy of the Hawke’s Bay region through the acquisition of the artist’s work for the MTG Trust.

Chief Winemaker at Church Road, Chris Scott said: “Given the scope and talent of the shortlisted artists, judging the Church Road Art Initiative was a daunting challenge, yet we were all truly impressed by the fantastic artists working right across New Zealand today. I’m very proud to have been part of this project on behalf of Church Road and look forward to visiting Reece’s work at MTG Hawke’s Bay.” 

King’s work will become part of the museum’s permanent collection of over 100,000 pieces and will be displayed on rotation as part of its exhibition programming.

Toni MacKinnon said: “Being collected by a public institution advances an artist’s career by providing recognition, validation, and exposure for their work. Reece King is an interesting and prolific artist who is wholly committed to the medium of paint, from which his seemingly inexhaustible imagination evolves. An acquisition such as this would boost the reputation and credibility of any collection, and we are very much looking forward to having Reece’s work on display at the Museum, an equally for it to be included in many exhibitions across the region in the future.”

As part of the prize, King will join the main stage lineup of the forthcoming Semi Permanent Festival of Creativity & Design, taking place on Friday 10th November at St James Theatre, Wellington. Joining Chris Scott in a panel discussion hosted by Becky Hemus, he will delve into their artistic practice and process to explore the parallels between wine and artmaking.

For more information and to purchase the latest Collection, head to www.church-road.com.


About Church Road

Church Road is renowned for being the first in New Zealand to craft exceptional quality Bordeaux style red wine and pioneered the Hawke’s Bay wine industry.

Founded in 1897 on the same site that it stands today, we believe excellence stems from mastering the details and knowing when to trust your instinct. Church Road wines are meticulously crafted to achieve quality of the highest standard and use fruit from the best vineyards across New Zealand’s North Island.

Chris Scott, Church Road’s Chief Winemaker since 2005, is also one of New Zealand’s most highly acclaimed, having been awarded New Zealand Winemaker of the Year by Winestate Magazine in 2013, 2016, 2020 and 2021; New Zealand International Wine Show Winemaker of the Year 2017 and Royal Easter Show Wine Awards Winemaker of the Year 2020.

Church Road is committed to sustainable practices and is accredited under the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) scheme. Church Road is a trademark of Pernod Ricard Winemakers New Zealand Limited.

For more information, head to www.church-road.com.