New Nelson gallery to show works by 'artists of faith'

Atelier Studio and Gallery co-founder David James in the gallery on Trafalgar Square.
Sara Meij

Atelier Studio and Gallery co-founder David James in the gallery on Trafalgar Square.

A new Nelson gallery aims to become a hub where art and spirituality connect, showing works by "artists of faith".

Co-founder David James said artists didn't need to be religious to exhibit at the gallery, but they would be "involved in a journey of faith and interested in ideas in that conversation".

"I guess we kind of see ourselves as ... a hub in some ways where art, creativity and faith can kind of connect."

Atelier is set up as a charitable trust and runs both a gallery and a studio that will host art workshops.

The public classes will include figure drawing on Tuesday evenings, and a creative process class on Wednesday mornings.

James, who is a Christian, founded the gallery on the corner of Trafalgar Square and Selwyn Place together with his wife Nina, who works as a real estate agent at Bayleys.

James was a pastor at the Mission Fellowship Church in Nelson and also worked at NMIT for over 12 years as an arts tutor and in leadership and management roles in the creative industries programme area. 

The gallery's aim was "to support and promote artists of faith".

"There is no other dealer gallery or organisation in New Zealand that currently [solely] represents those."

The gallery's inaugural exhibition, Quality of Life, is running until June 30 and exhibits the works of Darryn​ George, Kees Bruin, Amanda Watson, Fiona Lees, Symen Hunter and James himself.

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The exhibitions would changed every month, showing solo artists, collaborations and group exhibitions from around New Zealand.

James was also keen to host an intensive three-day workshop and also had a visual arts competition planned for later this year.

Nelson artist Fiona Lees said she thought the gallery was unique in only representing artists of faith, creating a space for them to connect and create visual dialogues.

"To have the encouragement to explore the spiritual is quite appealing.

"There will be that space ... to develop that side of my art and to experiment."

 

 

 

 - Stuff

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