Waiheke gallery visitor numbers exceed expectations
Visits to Waiheke Community Art Gallery have more than doubled compared with last year.
Gallery director Linda Chalmers said daily visitor numbers in January 2016 were around the 200 mark but that's now risen to between 400 and 500 people.
"It's great to see so many visitors enjoying art on the island," Chalmers said.
And visitor numbers are expected to double again once headland Sculpture on the Gulf starts on January 27.
The hugely popular international event invites visitors to view sculpture installations along a walk overlooking Matiatia Bay.
And the gallery will again run the Pavilion Gallery as part of the temporary hospitality and information tent called the Pavilion.
It's specially erected for use by headland Sculpture on the Gulf visitors at Matiatia during the course of the event.
The gallery will offering small art works and maquettes by many of the artists exhibiting on the sculpture walk.
The Pavilion Gallery will be bigger than usual and will stock a variety of high quality artworks by artists from throughout New Zealand.
Also, for the first time, the gallery is offering a university course this year – a Diploma in Ceramics.
The two-year full-time course, being managed by the gallery in partnership with Otago Polytechnic, will take just a handful of students with six already signed up.
"Students do not need to be experienced in ceramics but should have a strong interest in the arts and will need to submit a portfolio of drawings, images and writing to gain entry to the course," Chalmers said.
Student selection is by one of New Zealand's leading ceramicists Rob Cloughley, Head of Ceramics at Otago Polytechnic.
Experienced Waiheke ceramicist Penny Ericson and renowned potter and wheel tutor Peter Collis will be the practical tutors with online course material supplied by Otago Polytechnic.
"People who have already done a course in ceramics but now want expert tuition in a fun environment would be ideal candidates," Chalmers said.
"We already have several people confirmed but have room for just a few more."
She said the prestigious diploma course was another reason for Waiheke Island becoming known as 'Auckland's island of art'.
The diploma will entail three fulltime days a week in block courses over 30 weeks and people can enrol at the Waiheke Community Art Gallery in Artworks, Oneroa.
Contact: Linda Chalmers on (09) 372 9907 or 021 967 768 for more information.