Attendance fall, cost spell end of art classes

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:00 21/02/2013

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Dwindling numbers and the inability to secure grants has forced a Palmerston North business to stop a series of art classes.

Ochre Art Supplies in Square Edge ran the Ochre Art School for about 18 months.

But assistant manager Maria Clement said no classes would be offered for the foreseeable future.

The courses had become too costly to run, with renting a room "an expensive proposition".

"We had a really good go at it, but with the overheads it's just not viable any more."

People had offered spaces, but they had been unsuitable, she said.

"People sometimes are nervous - and rightfully so - about paint on the floors and all that sort of thing."

Mrs Clement said numbers had also dropped off.

"When we started people were happy to pay $150 for six weeks of classes, but that's decreased.

"People are seeing arts as a luxury, and are more worried about paying their own rent and food.

"I've talked to other providers and there's falling enrolments everywhere."

While non-profit groups could claim grants, Ochre could not since it was a business, she said.

"We have been subsidising it ourselves for some time."

In the meantime, Ochre Art Supplies would continue to pass on information about tutors to prospective students, she said.

"Ochre still works well as a hub, and we're happy for people running classes to let us know about them."

The art supply business would stay open.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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