Michael Sass, Tauranga/Mount Maunganui Member Since April 2017 Artist Statement Michael Sass migrated to Tauranga, New Zealand from Knysna, South Africa in 2000 with his wife, Kathy to be with their two daughters Tracey and Carron and their grandchildren, Benn and Hannah.
Having been in business all his life, Michael pursued art seriously for the first time when he semi-retired in 1998. Art has always been his first love and, although during his school career he won many prizes for art, he was not encouraged to do art as a career because it was 'not a proper job'.
He did two painting courses with the celebrated South African artist Dale Elliot in 1998 and has been painting ever since. His preferred medium is pastel but he also does oils and acrylics – mostly in landscape realism. Since arriving in New Zealand, Michael has exhibited at numerous exhibitions and was honoured to be awarded best pastel drawing at the Molly Morpeth Canaday Awards in Whakatane in 2005 and again in 2007.
In 2008, Michael's painting "Meltwater near Lake Tekapo" won best landscape of show at the same awards. The same painting was entered in the International Artist magazine's landscapes competition and was one of ten finalists internationally. In March 2008 it was voted runner up at the New Zealand Pastel Artists annual exhibition in Stratford. His painting, "Evening on Lake Wanaka", won the People's Choice award at the same exhibition. "Rangitoto I" won the People's Choice award at the Miriangi Bay Art Awards in 2008. His painting "Base Track at Mauao" won the People's Choice award at the Tauranga National Art Awards in November 2009. "Southern Light" was the runner up at the National Pastel Artists annual exhibition in Feilding in March 2009 and also won the People's Choice award.