Feast your eyes on art

SHOW AND SELL: Fleur Benn is one of more than 400 artists from around the country exhibiting at the New Zealand Art Show in Wellington.
SHOW AND SELL: Fleur Benn is one of more than 400 artists from around the country exhibiting at the New Zealand Art Show in Wellington.

More than a dozen Waikato artists will have their work included in what's been called a "visual feast of original and quality" New Zealand art in Wellington.

From next Friday, the New Zealand Art Show gets under way at Wellington's TSB Arena on Queens Wharf with more than 3000 artworks on show from more than 400 artists from around the country.

Art selected for the show includes the visual arts, oils, acrylic paint and graphite pencil and limited edition mezzotint, etchings and screen prints, which will be on show alongside limited edition photography, sculpture in wood, stone, metal and stainless steel and cast and blown glass works.

Shirley Cresswell
Shirley Cresswell

All the art is for sale for between $50 and $5000, giving art fans the chance to get their hands on some affordable and original artworks.

Artists can have a range of works on show, and more in stock so, when something sells, it can be replaced on the walls.

Raglan artist Miranda-Jane Caird says the show is a big deal and gives artists direct access to thousands of potential new customers.

The show takes less commission than most galleries and pays artists the following month, something every artist enjoys.

Artists either take part in the general exhibition, or have a single artist panel or wall.

Caird has a single artist panel at the show and is sending 15 paintings to Wellington for it.

Organisers curate the panels, so if one painting sells, another goes up in its place.

Artists with a wall have to be in Wellington themselves to curate their space while those taking part in the general exhibition have their works rotated through the gallery as space permits.

Caird says the quality of the show is very high and organisers are focused on promoting the arts, rather than making money.

"I decided to make a real effort this year. It's the first time I've had 15 pieces together."

She hoped to broaden her client base and get a new gallery interested in exhibiting her works and "this is a good way to do it".

It's her fourth time at the show but the first with a solo panel.

"Last year I sent three pieces down and sold two."

Hamilton artist Shirley Cresswell is heading to Wellington with 20 pieces and she hopes to sell the lot.

"Last year I made more than $20,000 from the weekend," she says. "I'm hoping for more than that this year."

She says the show is a great chance to get more people seeing her paintings.

"From the show you get other people wanting your work and invites to other exhibitions.

"From last year a studio in Hanmer Springs took my work and I got into the National Art Exhibition in Napier so you get spotted for other things."

She had been taking part in the show for the last three years and says it had provided validation of what she was doing.

"It allowed me to go fulltime, you realise you can do this.

"It's the most amazing event."


Waikato artists taking part in the New Zealand Art Show are: Miranda-Jane Caird, Shirley Cresswell, Santie Cronje-English, Marti Wong, Kym Gilchrist, Sarah Peck, Fleur Benn, Jo Gallagher, JL McGregor, Jody Saturday, Natasha Rao, Michael Barker, Heather Leonard, Gavin Smith, Celeste Broad, Janine Bisley-Prowse.

The New Zealand Art Show is on in Wellington from August 2-5. There's an online exhibition of the artists at: artshow.co.nz/gallery/