All visitors to the Mercury Bay Art Escape’s annual exhibition of artists’ work at Hot Waves Café were encouraged to take part in the “People’s Choice Award” and vote for their chosen work.


The Art Escape is delighted to announce the winner this year is Whitianga based artist member Pam Mundell with her intricately detailed landscape painting entitled “Catching the Light”. This great achievement does not stand alone and winning this award is a double success story for Pam. At the earlier Gala Opening event Pam was moved to tears when participating artists voted for Pam’s work as the winner of the Artists’ Choice Award.


Pam admitted that winning both of the awards is rather overwhelming and she is hugely appreciative of the support for her work. Speaking about her painting Pam says, “I wanted to capture the way the light fell on a single iconic tree in the dark of the bush.” 


This winning acrylic painting attracted the most votes in a very tight competition and thanks to generous sponsorship by Gordon Harris of the Art and Graphic Store Pam is the recipient of welcome art supplies. 


Voting for the art works was tight with second place going to Sally Samins from Hot Water Beach with her bright, abstract mixed media painting “Urban Summers”. Becs Wood from Hahei gained third place with her delicate and highly detailed self-portrait drawing “Finding the Light”.


The two “Open Studio” weekends are over but for the Mercury Bay Art Escape artists work does not stop as studio visiting opportunities continue all year round. The colourful Art Escape “Guide” is the ‘go to’ search tool for information about the artists and how to contact them to arrange a visit.


The next major Art Escape event coming up is the is the popular Coromandel Peninsula Art and Craft Fair on Saturday 14 to be held in the Whitianga Town Hall from 9am to 3 pm. The Fair was a huge success last year and a ‘winter warmer’ for locals and visitors alike. Save this date now! 


Also, look out for the Trust’s call for new artists and art groups who may wish to participate in the Mercury Bay Art Escape 2019.


For information about all of Mercury Bay Art Escape’s activities go to



People’s Choice Award winner Pam Mundell with her winning painting “Catching the Light” (2017). Photo Credit Sharon Wright

Image 2: 2nd place Sally Samins “Urban Summers” (2018)

Image 3: 3rd place Becs Wood “Finding the Light” (2018)


Article Published 1 June 2018

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