In­ter­est in art grows again

Show moves to school gym

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By MAR­JORIE COOK

From small begin­nings more than four decades ago, the Wanaka Arts So­ci­ety now has more than 100 ac­tive mem­bers.

Phyl­lis Bethune founded a Wanaka arts group in the early 1970s and ever since, mem­bers have been qui­etly tick­ing off two shows a year, one at Easter, the other at Labour Week­end.

En­cour­aged by growth in en­tries and sales re­cently, the so­ci­ety is ‘‘go­ing big’’ this year.

It has se­cured one of the largest venues it has ever ex­hib­ited in, the gym­na­sium at the Wanaka Pri­mary School, for its Labour Week­end ex­hi­bi­tion, Out On A Limb.

The space will be shared with the Wanaka Cam­era Club and Le Jar­dine Gar­den Cen­tre.

After a short break from ex­hibit­ing with the so­ci­ety, Wanaka’s quilt­ing group is re­join­ing the party, so­ci­ety pres­i­dent Susie Rud­den­klau said last week.

‘‘We’ve been around for a long time and have had a lot of exhibitions. We have just started a youth sec­tion and it’s quite popular and bur­geon­ing into some­thing quite big too,’’ she said.

She is hop­ing for a record attendance, after more than 1000 peo­ple went to the so­ci­ety’s Easter ex­hi­bi­tion at The Venue.

At­ten­dances could fluc­tu­ate year to year, de­pend­ing on the weather, eco­nomic cli­mate and other ac­tiv­i­ties in town, but the last two exhibitions had been ‘‘huge’’ in terms of peo­ple through the doors, Rud­den­klau said.

As the town’s pop­u­la­tion con­tin­ued to grow and peo­ple be­gan build­ing houses again after the re­ces­sion, art work­shops and lo­cally pro­duced art were more in de­mand than ever. How­ever, the down­side of growth was in­creas­ing com­pe­ti­tion with wed­dings and other events to se­cure a venue, Rud­den­klau said.


Skilled: Wanaka artist and teacher Si­mon King is the guest artist and judge at the Wanaka Arts So­ci­ety ex­hi­bi­tion at Labour Week­end.

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