Artists join for ‘‘biggest ever’’ festival
‘‘We expect some exciting exhibits. Franklin artists have given great support to our established sections.’’
It’s a highlight for Franklin’s artists and art-lovers every year - the Franklin Arts Festival is back for 2017 and it is set to be the biggest ever.
The festival is an annual celebration of visual arts, showcasing the work not only of talented local artists but work of artists from throughout New Zealand.
Now in its 28th year, with more than $28,000 in prize money, it is regarded as one of Auckland’s most prestigious art events. The first festival, which was held in 1990, displayed 147 paintings by Franklin artists and numerous craft stalls.
Last year, the festival exhibited more than 800 items, in the categories of paintings, works on paper, textile arts, pottery, photography, woodturning, small sculptures, and school art.
The festival runs from September 1 to September 10 at the Pukekohe Town Hall and Franklin Arts Centre - with artists vying for a prize over many different categories including painting, photography, pottery and ceramics, print and paper works, woodcraft, glass, sculpture, textile art and youth.
The festival is run by The Franklin Arts Festival Society, which formed in 1989 as a nonprofit organisation. The all- volunteer committee plus about 60-70 extra volunteers work to keep the 10-day festival going. Sponsorship and prizes predominantly come from local businesses or individuals.
‘‘This year is the biggest show ever,’’ said secretary of the festival society, Mary Coleman.
She said a new glass art section and sculpture section had been met with enthusiasm from artists. ‘‘We expect some exciting exhibits. Franklin artists have given great support to our established sections. The number of wood art entries has doubled and painting will be as colourful as ever. There will be something for all to enjoy - including a a splendid cafe and shop.’’
The supreme award last year was scooped up by Taupo artist, Robbie Graham from Wildwood Gallery. His winning woodcraft piece, Waiatia, was made from one piece of totara.
The festival is open from 9.30am till 4.30pm each day, with a 2pm close on the Sunday. Entry is $7 and kids are free. The festival will launch with a prizegiving evening at the Pukekohe Town Hall on September 1 at 7pm. Works on display at the festival will be available to buy.