The art of picking up a bargain

17:00, Jul 24 2014
Carla Russell NZ Art Show
LIGHT AND COLOUR: NZ Art Show’s Carla Russell with one of the thousands of artworks on display this weekend.

Hawk-eyed collectors and hopeful first-time buyers will be jostling for bargains at this weekend's New Zealand Art Show.

The annual show will see more than 3000 artworks from hundreds of artists on display at TSB Bank Arena from today, pulling in thousands of art lovers over three days. Many will walk away with a bargain, with the average price at $650 and a cap of $5000.

NZ Art Show executive director Carla Russell said although 1300 people would be piling into the show for an opening gala and first shot at the artworks last night, there would be plenty of good works left for the weekend.

"Of what you see on the walls, there is just as much in the back. Even if you come in on Sunday, you're practically seeing a whole different show. Some artists will put up their strongest works first - but that's just in their opinion."

After an earthquake-related dip in attendance and sales last year, organisers are hoping to top sales of about 1600 pieces in 2012.

Founding trustee Francie Russell said the show had become more sophisticated over the years.


"We've got the quality of the art higher, but in lots of ways the show still resembles what we imagined at the beginning . . . We've grown into ourselves really and giving more back to the artists."

Artist Jordan Barnes, one of five more established artists exhibiting in the Look At Them Now gallery, said the show had been good to him since his first outing in 2007.

"I really credit the New Zealand Art Show for getting me to where I am now. I'm a fulltime artist now, and it's been that way since I got a $15,000 artist grant [from the trust]."

Barnes said the show was a way to get your art seen somewhere other than your home town and to assess how your work stacked up against other artists.

The Dominion Post