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Wellington Loves Its Art

Wellington Loves Its Art

This year’s New Zealand Affordable Art Show being held in Wellington this weekend is set to break all records with one day to go.

New Zealand Affordable Art Trust executive director Carla Russell said this year’s show has already surpassed last year with more than 1,000 works sold grossing almost $500,000, “and there is still one day to go”.

“We are about 40% up on the same time last year as Wellingtonians love to find that new and emerging talent, and are more than happy to put their hand in their wallet as part of the hunt. This year they have seemed to have gone for the smaller sized works and sculptural pieces have also been very popular.”

A new innovation has been artist’s panels where the artist rents a space and displays work of their choice. Joanne McClelland of Nelson has sold more than 20 pieces already. Around 1,000 pieces are on display at any one time and as a piece is sold, it is replaced.

“There is such a wide range on display – a Tana Umanga piece was snapped up for a rugby fan’s home gallery and a portrait of the racehorse Daggers Court has a sad tone, as an owner attending the show informed the curators that the horse dropped dead last week.”

The Show, held for the first time in 2004, has proved a success with its “cash ‘n carry” formula, a style which is very popular overseas.

“We’re thrilled with how popular the Show is becoming. It has exceeded our expectations this year with 818 artists and 4,523 artworks selected from all over New Zealand for display and sale”.

The New Zealand Affordable Art Show began on Thursday in the TSB Arena on Wellington’s waterfront, with a Gala Evening before being opened to the public, and closes on Sunday at 4.00pm.

It is based on the premise that art is for everyone, not simply people who frequent art galleries and museum exhibitions. Artworks at the NZ Affordable Art Show are priced between $100 and $5000, putting them within the means of ordinary New Zealanders.

The show also fosters new talent that may otherwise not be recognised because of the difficulties in getting work exhibited.

In its short existence, the NZ Affordable Art Show has helped launch several careers from both islands and from further afield in the Chatham Islands.


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