Artists open doors for Oakura trail enthusiasts
"It's really exciting to be involved."HANNAH FLEMING
Not only will Taranaki's finest gardens be on show next weekend, but some of the region's finest artists too.
The Oakura Arts Trail has been revived this year after a brief hiatus, and will run alongside the Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular.
As part of the trail, 12 Taranaki artists will open their studios to the public to showcase the wealth of creative talent around the coastal town.
One of those artists is Deborah French, who said the open studio idea suited her perfectly.
"It's really exciting to be involved with something like this.
"I think Oakura has a huge range of talent that needs to be showcased."
The printmaker, painter and ceramicist said while it was often intimidating to open your personal space to the public, she expected it to be a lot of fun.
"There are always people who come in and walk straight back out if they don't like what you do, but you can't worry too much about that.
"Not everyone's going to like everything you do."
Joining French on the trail are Sally Laing, Rosie Moyes, Linda Barbour, Kris White, John Shewry, Margaret Scott, The Crafty Fox, Deb Hoare, Fay Looney and Richard Lander, and Ringcraft Moana.
Those responsible for resurrecting the trail are husband and wife Jeff and Julie Salisbury.
Julie Salisbury said that during the last few years, there had been plenty of talk about reviving the project, and all it required was someone, who perhaps wasn't involved as an artist, to take the bull by the horns.
"While they have a wonderful creative ability, artists by their nature often need someone to stand up to pull everything together. So we were able to come in and say, 'Well, we love art. Let's start organising it.' "
Salisbury said it had been a pleasure to deal with the artists, even though it had been exhausting at times.
"It has been such a privilege to hang out with them all.
"Some of you are crazy though," she joked with French.
Salisbury said it wasn't just an eclectic mix of media that would be apparent on the trail, but a mix of experience and personalities among the artists.
"It's a real chance for Taranaki to see the talent that's around here. People who are moving from other places are moving here because they want to be part of the emerging art scene out here."
The Oakura resident said she had been amazed by the response from other artists as word had spread about the trail.
"It's been awesome. It will be exciting to see the other ones come on board next year."
While there had been criticism about running their event the same weekend as the garden spectacular, Salisbury said their intention was not to take visitors away from it. "It's not about that. It's about adding to the experience."
Her long-term goal was to make the trail an annual event that could potentially amalgamate with the gardens and other galleries around town.
"Can you imagine how great that would be," she said.
"I don't see why we can't all get together and promote Taranaki as a region rich in arts."
The studios will be open from 10am to 6pm on November 3 and 4.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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