It's game on for artists

MEGAN HOWSON
Last updated 07:50 05/07/2012
Games

Stunning: The Unwritten Journey, one of two works Sharlene Schmidt will be taking to the International Art Conference in September.

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Sharlene Schmidt's artwork has already taken her around the world.

But the Levin oil painter of 10 years is busier than ever, since being appointed president of the New Zealand national committee for the inaugural World Art Games.

The international art festival will be biennial, with the first to be held in Croatia next July. Turkey will host the second festival in 2015, and the New Zealand committee hopes to host the 2017 games.

The idea was founded in 2009 by Peter Weisz and Jasminka Blazevic Paunovic, of Croatia, and it has taken three years to turn the initiative into a reality.

It is described as art's version of the Olympic Games, and 62 countries will compete in 15 genres, including painting, literature, theatre, architecture, cuisine and music.

New Zealand's three voluntary committee members were appointed by the game's head office based on their artistic abilities.

Wellington's Jules Hunt and Whakatane's Hiria Ratahi will be working alongside Schmidt, selecting and organising the New Zealand team.

Schmidt's forte is oil painting. Many of her pieces are inspired by musical compositions, which she said is her "signature". She has music composed primarily for her artwork.

As a full-time artist, Schmidt has exhibited in Italy, Albania, India and Croatia. In her 2010 trip to Italy, she was involved in a World War II memorial exhibition, along with other New Zealand artists.

Committee members from participating countries are expected to enter their own pieces in the World Art Games, and committee presidents will also be exhibiting at the International Art Conference in Turkey this September. Schmidt will be taking two works to this event.

The New Zealand committee is encouraging New Zealanders with artistic talent to apply for the Games. About 30 successful candidates will be taken.

To apply, email Sharlene Schmidt at newzealand@wagames.org.

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- Horowhenua Mail

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