The Wanaka Arts Society began in the 1970s when the local creative groups got together to exhibit their work. Since it’s inception, almost 50 years ago, the group has evolved into a vibrant, diverse range of artists and craftspeople of all ages from the lower South Island and Wanaka surrounds. We spoke to Kym Beaton the Arts Coordinator for the group.
Rachel Murphy – Sun Setting On Our Land
Art Society Events
The Society runs two large, well-attended exhibitions each year; one at Easter and another at Labour Weekend. With many local artists not represented by galleries, they are looking to sell their work in these exhibitions and be judged next to their peers. These exhibitions hold an important role in the larger South Island arts community.
There is no pre-selection of entries for these exhibitions, with members able to enter up to seven pieces – whether the artwork is an oil painting, a patchwork quilt, or a one metre high sculpture constructed from steel dining utensils — all forms of creativity are welcomed.
These are big events showcasing up to 200 artworks and are run by a small volunteer group of six dedicated committee members who give up their time and put in huge efforts to make it happen.
Zee Southcombe – Into The Woods
The Wanaka’s Art Society supports the local arts community in other ways too. One of their recent initiatives, designed to raise the profile of Wanaka artists, and Wanaka itself, on a global scale, was their sponsorship of Kym Beaton’s appearance in the Australian TV show, ‘Colour in Your Life.’ Check it out here.
Other initiatives include a youth section in each exhibition that encourages local teens to follow their creative dream and step beyond their comfort zone to have their work judged, for sale and awarded. In March the Wanaka Arts Society provides a pop-up exhibition at the Wanaka A&P Show showcasing 10 artist members giving them an opportunity to sell and talk with the public about their work.
Here at The 45th Degree supporting the local arts community is part of our core values and we are proud to sponsor artist prizes for the Wanaka Arts Society events. If you have any interest in art, we encourage you to check out the Society events.