4 Aug 2013

Artists celebrated for extraordinary achievement

5:56 am on 4 August 2013

Five of New Zealand's most acclaimed artists have been honoured at the Arts Foundation's Icon Awards.

Architect Ian Athfield, painter and writer Jacqueline Fahey, filmmaker Geoff Murphy, opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and visual artist and heritage advocate Cliff Whiting received awards on Friday.

The honours are limited to a group of 20 of New Zealand's most accomplished, living artists. Friday's announcement brings the number of arts icons to 18, and the next ceremony is planned for 2015.

Previous recipients include Sir Peter Jackson and the late Janet Frame, Ralph Hotere and Margaret Mahy.

Arts Foundation chair Fran Ricketts said the arts are fundamental to society and the awards recognise extraordinary talent and celebrate achievement.