The biennial Arts Gold Awards national art competition was initiated by the Central Otago District Arts Trust in 2011 to celebrate innovation and excellence in New Zealand visual arts. Artists from throughout New Zealand are welcome to enter these prestigious awards which are are open to all New Zealand citizens or permanent residents 18 years and over. The awards typically receive well over 300 submissions of which 45-55 works are selected by eminent New Zealand art adjudicators to show in a finalists exhibition. Top award winners are announced at an Arts Gold Award opening evening. The following Arts Gold Awards exhibition is open to the public for six weeks. All finalists works will be for sale.

Awards categories include the Supreme Arts Gold Award, the Central Otago Artist Award, 2x Highly Commended awards and the Peoples Choice award.