The Labour Weekend art exhibition and competition at Waikino and the on-going (to Sunday 1st November) Tauranga Society of Artists Inc sale of work are both examples of the hidden industry of the creative.
Few artists are afforded the luxury of an off-site studio or atelier and often a spare room, the garage even the kitchen table and kitchen bench provide the physical support for the development and creation of art and art craft. Markets and the internet provide an artist with access to an unlimited world-wide market. It;s been part of my education about the sale of art to discover that many successfully selling artists are also successful online salespeople.
Community Halls provide affordable and accessible venues for art exhibitions and sales. Waikino’s annual exhibition, competition and sale of art, art craft, craft, photography and sculpture is held to raise funds to support the rural New Zealand evocative Victoria Hall. Set back from State Highway 2 at one end of the geographically amazing Karangahake Gorge the Victoria Hall stands in all seasons with the resignation of a building that has seen generations of community comings and goings. The Elizabeth Street Community Centre near the Express Way entrance to Downtown Tauranga wouldn’t win any architectural awards – that’s irrelevant. It’s home to regular community activities and now the regular venue for exhibitions and sales of work of the Tauranga Society of Artists Inc. Markets and outdoor sales of work like those in Coronation Park Mount Maunganui are fabulous in summer and contribute to the atmosphere and vibe of Downtown the Mount but nothing beats a roof and walls!
Tauranga Artist’s sale opened yesterday (28th October at 11am) and I was there. Not quite breaking down the door but certainly excited to see what was up for 2015. And also out to support the Tauranga Society of Artists was local MP Simon Bridges. My understanding is that the exhibition is open to every member of the Society who can display a set number of works. All the works are displayed with the name of the artist, title of the work and the price. It’s important to accept that this is not a curated exhibition in the sense of a gallery exhibition. It is the hanging of a huge variety of work for sale so some of the works are below eye-level and some are on easels against walls and on a low stage-like area. It is also important to go through the display very slowly and then go through again at least once or twice. This is because there are so many different visual images to process.
I’m always saying that taste is personal – I can’t eat coriander. So what I would snatch off the walls is merely what appeals to me not an attempt to judge the works on display. Patrick Gibbons has two works one in strict poster style the other referencing street art – I love them. Kim Artus has a great new take on the Bay beach culture with his painterly image of young “surfers” rushing seaward “In it for Life”. Margret Hunt’s small “Summer Sun Surf” totally captures the colours of sky and water as do some of the works of Joan O’Connor – they’re magic. My writing has always been somewhat medical so “ “ Denis has a superbly detailed pencil sketch of an old bus. The Liz Phillips pencilled work of the Turret Road trees makes me smile – it’s another one I’d take home! There are several works by Nancy Frazer – intensely detailed so you have to stand and peer to discern all the lace-like and filigree patterns. Graham Baker has a work composed primarily of cineraria leaves contrasted against a small band of bright green leaves and red flowers – it works. Art Capener has superbly produced photo realistic works – Fire & Ice. There are also two completely contrasting watercolour works by Margaret Stubbenhagen – “Freedom” horses on the run – the speed and vitality enhanced by the Pollock-like colour splashes and “Poppies” so quiet and simple. It’s pointed out to me by another artist as one of the best works of the exhibition. And what do I want most of all – it’s a relatively small, modestly priced watercolour by Boni Hill-Palmer“Towards Tuakau”. I love the area of Onewhero and Pukekawa and the slopes down towards Port Waikato. Boni has captured the landscape and the atmosphere so that it tugs at my heartstrings.
Make sure you view this sale of work. There are so many styles of work across a wide price spectrum that you will find works you’ll want for yourself and works you’ll want to give.
Tauranga Society of Artists Inc, Sale of Work at Elizabeth Street Community Centre, Downtown Tauranga on until Sunday 1st November 2015
Artist Leigh Basinger, now based in Katikati was an exhibitor and competitor in the Labour Weekend Waikino Art Exhibition. Leigh is known for her paintings on glass: a time-consuming technique producing highly sort after and collectable works.
I caught up with Leigh after the weekend and she told me how successful the exhibition and competition had been. Leigh noted that the by ticket opening was packed with supporters and that over the weekend there were visitors and viewers from all over the place happy to pay the gold coin entry cost to view the exhibition of painting, craft, photography and sculpture. Like the Tauranga sale of work this was not a gallery curated exhibition but a competition and show of widely different styles and techniques – “something for everyone… a real smorgesbord of art”
.Leigh was apparently standing near the work selected.as the Supreme Winner – “Winning artist Barbara Von Seida was so happy”.
One of Leigh’s other obvious talents is her ability to network and communicate – Leigh arranged for the exhibition organiser Helen Wilson to forward ARTbop the exhibition press release with details of the competition winners.
“Both of the judges at ARTWaikino agreed that the standard of art this year was at a high level and they had difficulty in choosing who should be in the prize money.
The winners were announced at the wine and cheese opening in the Victoria Hall on Friday evening, October 23. A large group of people attended the function to find out who the winners were and have the first opportunity of purchasing a piece of art.
The art exhibition was opened by Coromandel MP, Scott Simpson who also remarked on the high standard of art work.
Gary Venn the judge for the painting, craft and sculpture categories congratulated all the artists on their work and had difficulty in choosing the prize winners.
The best painting award sponsored by Visique Optometrists went to Barbara Von Seida from Coromandel with her painting “Spirit of Coromandel IV”. The judge’s comments were “accomplished use of media as well as colour”. Second place went to Claire du Bosky from Waeranga with “Coromandel Wharf.” “Lovely composition and use of colour and sense of light.” Mirkwood by Michael Barker of Te Aroha was placed third, “impressive technical use of water-colour to evoke a deep dark forest.” Commendations went to Krystal Pennell with “Alpine Treasure”, “The Master of his Territory” by Jeanne-Marie Cantereau, “End of the Line” by John Stubbenhagen, “Three Creeks Garage” by Heather Moir and “Confrontation” by Jacquie Martin.
Well known Waikino mosaic artist, Con Kiernan took out first prize in the craft category with “Y Botha.” Judge’s comments were, “technically impressive mosaic, really stood out due to the composition and 3D effect. Second went to Tony Howse for “modern waka,” “beautiful use of materials, simple organic lines,” third was Andrew Killick with his ceramic pot called “Rhea”. “Wonderful crafted piece with subtle use of colour.” Commendations went to: Tanya Edwards, Rose Tuffery and Helen Frost.
Shawn Rolton from Pushinguppixels was the judge for the photography categories and was also impressed with the quality of the exhibits.
The winner of the “Photography, People” section was first time exhibitor, Finn Thomas from Paeroa with his photo “Hands.” Judge’s comments, “a portrait doesn’t have to be a face, the tones give a nice level of detail throughout the image.” Second place went to Ian Purden from Waikino with, “Memories of a Lifetime,” “a strong use of lighting not too harsh for the subject matter,” third place went to Cathy Franzoi from Waihi Beach with “Brothers”, “thought has been given to lighting to producing drama.” Commendations went to: Arthur Johnstone for “Island Daze” and Jim Culley for “Surfers Silhouette.”
Cathy Franzoi won the “Photography Other” category with “Rural Penrith.” Judge’s comments: the image presented a solid balance of visual interest, technical competence and an emotional resonance.” Allan Hassal came second with “Curves”. “A sound technical study in the photographic architectural tradition”. Third went to Arthur Johnstone with “Electric”, Nice use of format and composition on an otherwise mundane and well documented subject.” Commendations: Martin Humphreys for “Stardust”, Cathal McCloy for “Through the Veil,” and Judy Haszard for “Top Gate, Craggy Hill.”
The sculpture category was on display at The Falls Retreat and was won by Mathew Sayer from Waihi with “Shelter.” Judge’s comments were “original choice of medium and beautifully organic and flowing.” Second went to Meryl Walker with “The Carver”, “beautifully carved, striking character,” and third place to Waikino artist Rod Hawkins for his copper eagle “Eyrie.”
The supreme winner from the five categories with $500 prize money sponsored by Newmont Waihi Gold was won by Barbara von Seida.
Colleen Tetley from Coromandel won the “viewer’s choice” sponsored by Waihi Paper Plus and Toyworld with her painting “Athenree Wetlands.”
Helen Wilson, Convenor”
Bay of Plenty creatives and their neighbours support so many community projects either directly by the donation of art works or commission from the sale of works. The annual ARTwaikino Competition and Exhibition specifically supports the upkeep and maintenance of the historic Waikino Victoria Hall. Next time you’re driving through the Karangahake Gorge stop and look at the Hall and Labour Weekend 2016 – support the Hall and the creative community and stop in at the exhibition.
Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.