Sara Hughes is a dynamic artist with a career well established and highly regarded in Australasia. Hughes has exhibited in public galleries throughout New Zealand and her paintings and installations are held in many important Australasian public and private collections including the Chartwell Collection; Auckland City Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki; Te Papa Tongarewa; Wellington, the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and the Gallery of NSW, Sydney. Her work has attracted significant attention winning both the Wallace Art Award and the Norsewear Art Award in 2005. In 2008 she was the first New Zealand recipient of The RIPE: Art and Australia magazine Art Award and she has been selected to participate in a number of notable residencies including the Francis Hodgkins Fellowship in 2003, the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York in 2007 and the Creative New Zealand Berlin Visual Artists Residency at the Knstlerhaus Bethanien in 2008/09.
Hughes completed an MFA in painting in 2001 from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. Her work has been published widely appearing in art and architecture magazines including, Art NZ, Art News, Artlink, Art in Australia and Monument. Hughes has undertaken a number of high profile public commissions including Magma, 2017 a large 500sqm painting in Auckland, as well as a series of striking outdoor works for the re-opening of Cathedral Square in the centre of Christchurch, 2014-16. Her most recent project was installed in 2019 on all four sides of the New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland, it is the largest integrated public art work in New Zealand.