Impressive Art Escape Open Studio Tour Launch

The launch of the Mercury Bay Art Escape Open Studio Tour at Hot Waves Café in Hot Water Beach is always greeted with anticipation and last Friday was no exception.

Keynote speaker was official New Zealand Defence Forces artist Matt Gauldie, who didn’t take long to point out his connection with last year’s keynote speaker, Dr Carole Shepheard. “Carole was one of my teachers when I was a student at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland in the late ‘90s,” he said.

Matt also said that he’s proud to call himself a New Zealand artist and that artists shouldn’t underestimate their role and the role of their art in society. “I am extremely fortunate that my position as official Defence Forces artist allows me to travel extensively. Art is everywhere, even in warzones. It’s such an important part of life. I believe that in New Zealand we support our artists more than any other country. It’s something we should always cherish.”

The Open Studio Tour launch was also the opening night of the Taste of the Tour exhibition at Hot Waves Café, displaying one piece of art from all the artists who are members of the Art Escape, as well as Emily Boswell, recipient of the 2014 Mercury Bay Art Escape scholarship earmarked for students attending Mercury Bay Area School. Members of the public will have for the next month the opportunity to vote for their favourite piece of art exhibited, so bestowing the title “Winner of the People’s Choice Award” on one of the artists.

On Friday evening the artists themselves had the opportunity to vote for their favourite work in the exhibition. For the first time in the history of the Open Studio Tour, the “Artists’ Choice Award,” sponsored by The Little Gallery in Tairua, was shared with Julie Whyman’s painting “The Colour of Dreams” receiving the same number of votes as Martinus Sarangapany’s drawing “Home Away from Home.”

Five pieces of art were sold during the course of Friday evening, including the one submitted by Emily Boswell.

Pictured is Sarah Holden, owner of The Little Gallery, congratulating Martinus with his achievement in the Artists’ Choice Award.

The Informer, 9 March 2016

 

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