Blind artist seeks new venue

"I have helped a few people and that was the whole goal of it"

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 13/03/2014
Pauline Harper
CHARLOTTE CURD
Pauline Harper talks about the Visually Impaired Gallery closing down due to lack of funding.

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A New Plymouth artist is looking for a new studio so she can continue having art classes for the visually impaired.

Pauline Harper of Hands On Art Studio had been unable to secure funding to stay open and closed in February, 18 months after launching in New Plymouth's Metro Plaza on Devon St West.

Art workshops held there catered to students with visual impairment and other physical disabilities.

Ms Harper, who is legally blind, graduated from Witt in 2008 with a Bachelor of Visual Arts.

She said she was devastated to have to close the studio but was determined to get it going again and was hoping to find a new workspace.

"It was for a good cause," she said.

"And I have no regrets. I have helped a few people and that was the whole goal of it."

Student numbers fluctuated from five to 15 and there were close to 100 artworks in her storage, she said.

A number of pieces had been donated to CanTeen Taranaki for its inaugural art auction on March 21.

"We're currently looking for new premises but that is probably not going to happen as we don't have the money for it any more," Ms Harper said.

She said it was not possible to have the classes in her house as there was not enough room.

"I've had to hire a storage container to store all our gear in," Ms Harper said.

Student Jaydene Roguski said she was "gutted" at not having another place to go for art lessons.

She said she liked mingling with other students and also having visitors view their artwork.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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