Artists join for ‘‘big­gest ever’’ fes­ti­val

Franklin County News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - NATALIE POL­LEY

‘‘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.

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