Whangamata Big Arts Day Out saw hundreds of people a day enjoy a creative showcase of local art during its two day January festival. Now in its third year, The Big Arts Day Out is Whangamata Art Collective’s main event, one of four planned for 2019.
In conjunction with the two day exhibition, Whangamata Arts Collective hosted the Art Collective/Harcourts Challenge and the Harcourts Youth Award. Competition winners were announced at the prizegiving and wine and cheese evening the night before the exhibition. The theme for the Challenge was “Colours of Nature”, and for the Youth Award; “Who I Am/Who We Are”.
The supreme award was won by Joanne Mahoney for ‘Floral Fragments’; also winning the 2D category. The 3D category winner went to Jocelyn Pratt for ‘Cloudburst’. Sarah Alves won the People’s Choice for her quilling artwork.
The winner of the Harcourts Youth Award was Whangamata Area School student Jasper Pickett for his photographic piece titled; ‘Come Together’ . It was 15 year old Jasper’s first time entering an art competition, following developing his skills in photography over the past two years. On winning the Youth Award he says; “I was stoked, but I didn’t expect it.”
Further to the Challenge, Harcourts commissioned Kaetaeta Watson to create a Kete to be won in a prize draw during the evening event. Kaetaeta spent two days volunteering her time to demonstrate how the kete was made, and Adrienne Aislabie was the lucky recipient.
Committee member Cherry Escourt said the wine and cheese prizegiving evening was a great success and brought many new visitors to the exhibition over the following two days. Feedback received by the Arts Collective was positive, with many favourable comments received about the variety of art and the professional calibre of the Whangamata festival.
From an organiser’s perspective, the Big Arts Day Out involved a lot of hard work by a committed team of volunteers and generous sponsorship from New World, Liquor King, The Lions Foundation and Harcourts. Cherry commented that Arts Collective members Jenny Blomeley and Gretha Whyte were instrumental in the success of the event, particularly in curating the Challenge ‘Gallery’.
“The artists brought their entries to us for displaying and as we were putting ID numbers on their packaging and placing the prepared labels with the work, it was all such a buzz,” said Cherry. “As we saw it all come together on display boards and plinths under new lighting we’d purchased courtesy of a Lion’s Foundation grant, it made it all worth it.”
The next event for Whangamata Arts Collective is the Open Studio/Arts Trail at Easter. The trail includes visits to ‘arts hubs’, which are a popular choice for artists exhibiting in a small group at a central location. To stay in the loop about Whangamata Arts Collectives events and activities, check out their facebook page and website.
Pictured: “Floral Fragments” by Joanne Mahoney – Winner of 2D category & also the Supreme “Chris Amess Arts Collective Award”