The Judges

Jeff Carr

I have been working as a professional musician for 26yrs. I manage Music Planet on Broadway and I also teach guitar theory and performance to the Cert and Diploma students at UCOLs contemporary music course. I am also on the board of trustees for Access Radio Manawatu.

In another lifetime my band Scarf reached no#9 on the Nz Charts back in `91 and I was the Nz Clinician-demonstrator for Ibanez, Washburn and Peavey guitars as well as Marshall, Peavey and Soldano amplifiers.


Israel Birch

Israel Birch (Ngapuhi, Ngai Tawake, Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Rakaipaaka) is considered one of New Zealand’s most talented young Maori artists. His work is identified by his unique practice of painting with light. He achieves the highly polished surfaces by applying multiple layers of pigment and lacquer over ground and etched stainless steel.

Israel earned a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Eastern Institute of Technology, Napier and a Masters in Maori Visual Arts at Massey University’s School of Maori Studies, Te Putahi-a-Toi. He is a lecturer at Te Putahi-a-Toi, in the Bachelor of Maori Visual Arts programme, and is a full-time practicing artist.


Anthony Behrens

Anthony Behrens is a designer and journalist with close links to the arts in the Manawatu. His paintings have been exhibited in the city and his journalism appears in his interactive online magazine, SwampThing. His professional life regularly involves working with many local artists from many different disciplines. Anthony dropped out of art school after 3 months, but did get 7th form art at St Peters night classes once upon a time. He has no formal qualifications so can’t pretend no know much about students – but he knows heaps about the arts – or likes to think so.


Joy Green

Joy Green is a writer and writing teacher and has also been directing and producing theatre in Palmerston North for the last 10 years, including producing the last 5 Summer Shakespeare shows. She has been publishing poetry and short fiction since the early 1990s, in Europe and North America as well as Oceania, and has had plays performed just as widely. She edited an online literary journal ‘Extraverse’ for three years, has edited a poetry column in The Manawatu Standard and written reviews for Bravado. She is particularly interested in work that blurs the boundaries between creative disciplines, particularly in terms of bringing poetry to a wider audience than might otherwise experience, through performance, film and installation work. In 2012 she completed a Masters on off-page poetry forms, which included a major poetry installation, ‘Anatomy’ exhibited in Square Edge. In August 2014 her poetry collection ‘Surface Tension’ will be published


Stuart Schwartz

Stuart Schwartz, known as ‘Stu’ is an American by birth but a Kiwi by choice! Hired in 1992 by the Palmerston North City Council to bring together the Manawatu Museum and The Science Centre as one organisation, Schwartz and his team opened the new institution in 1994 [Today with the addition of the Manawatu Art Gallery, it is known as Te Manawa]. A trained archaeologist, curator, exhibition designer, museum director, museum consultant, lecturer in Museum Studies, ceramic historian and author, Schwartz with his wife Phyllis and one of his three adult children run Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts, an art gallery which has promoted local and regional art in the Manawatu since 1997. Schwartz is an active Rotarian, Mason and community volunteer who has served as a member and president of the Manawatu Arts Society, the Feilding Arts Society and for more than 10 years was a member of the PNCC  Creative Communities New Zealand Arts Funding Committee; currently he is a member of the Horowhenua District CCNZ Committee..  Schwartz has also been a judge for the Feilding & District Art Society, the Bulls Wear-A-Bull Arts Awards, the Manawatu Woodworkers Guild Annual Exposition,  the Rose City Quilters, the Dannevirke Arts Society, the Massey University Students Association and the First International Pottery Exhibition (Japan, 1982).  He graduated from Rutgers University (NJ) with a B.A. in 1965 and attained his Masters of Arts degree (Community Education) in 1985.  Schwartz has served as an officer with the U.S. Corps of Engineers including a tour of duty in South Vietnam.  Stu Schwartz is a collector of Kiwiana who regularly presents programmes on his collection; he hopes to someday open the ‘Schwartzonian Museum of Kiwiana’ in Palmerston North.  Schwartz considers his Bone Marrow Donation to a six year-old boy (now a healthy 28) his most important community service.


Stephen Fisher

Stephen was head of Performing Arts at Awatapu College for thirty three years before his retirement last December. He has also been involved in music and drama here in Palmerston North for sometime, working as Musical Director for many major theatre productions, as well as a Children’s Theatre Director for Manawatu Theatre. He is also music reviewer for the Manawatu Evening Standard. He is Chairperson of the Globe Theatre Trust Board, a member of the Community Arts Board and also a member of the CCNZ committee for the Palmerston North City Council.


Pania Molloy

Pania Molloy is a freelance artist and community entrepreneur.

Pania’s contributions to community art, include Pulse Urban Art festival murals and craft workshops. She is currently in a support role at Te Manawa Museum of Art.

Pania earned her Diploma in Visual Arts Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Gradated Diploma of Teaching Massey University NZ, and currently Kawai Raupapa Raranga programme.

Her creative influences come from many artists, however her own work is always evolving and revitalizing traditional mediums from painting to sculpture. Up recycling seems a natural way create there is an endless supply of materials all you have to do is see the beauty in what you do, you no longer create so much waste you enhance it.


David Stevens

David Stevens is a born and raised Palmerstonian musician. He has played in numerous original live bands including the Rockquest winning ‘Us As Robots’. David worked at the PNCC supported ‘Creative Sounds’ recording studio and performance space for two years and has since managed the student radio station ‘Radio Control’ on Massey University campus. He is also the convener of the Creative Sounds management committee, co-director of local DIY music performance space ‘Great Job!’, a contributor to Massey University’s ‘Massive Magazine’ and a regular volunteer and enthusiast in Palmerston North’s local music scene.