If you want to fire up your creativity visiting Artists Open Studios in Whanganui is one way to do it. It was my second trip to Open Studios (2015 blog post) and this year I allowed two days instead of one, a good move as there was lots to see including …..
Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre, 83 Maria Place Ext.
Inspiration started here – what do you think you can do with plastic milk bottle tops and peanut butter lids? Make this brilliant mural. (The Maori words translate to “The river flows, From the mountains to the sea, I am the river, The river is me”).
Inside the Recovery Centre were metal sculptures by Glen Macmillan, including the 2.1 metre Mowa Moa made from mowers, clever!
Bricksticks & Twin Kilns, 18a Georgetti Road
Each year a collection of artists are at Bricksticks for Open Studios – 2017 artists. I was smitten with the work of artist Chloe O’Leary. Chloe draws pet portraits and wildlife art and as soon as I saw her drawing of ‘Dash the Donkey’ I knew he had to come home with me.
Creations Gallery, 25A Drews Avenue, open Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 3pm
Creations Gallery is open year round and sells the work of five locals including mixed media artist Jan Penn. I especially like the copper sculpture work and water features made by Barbara Bowness.
Another shop/gallery open year round is MiNZ (Made in New Zealand) at 139 Victoria Avenue. MiNZ is a co-operative of local arts and crafts people.
Studio 86 – Tina Drayton, Castlecliff
In 2015 I liked Tina Drayton’s paintings so much I couldn’t decide what to buy. This year I was determined to be more decisive and came home with two or her art works. Tina describes her work as ‘Art That Makes You Smile’, it sure does – Studio 86 (a webstore is a work in progress).
Duncan Pavilion, Castlecliff
A group of artists were at Duncan Pavilion in Castlecliff this year including Louise Wallace who upcycles glass to make beautiful ‘forever flowers’. The work of mixed media artist John Currin was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and stopped me in my tracks – see Saatchi Art.
A cool cafe has opened in Castlecliff – The Citadel Cafe at 14 Rangiora Street. It’s an inviting space to meet and eat and there is a good deck to take in the sea breeze, and a neat hobbit style playhouse for kids. (Ivan Vostinar’s gallery and terrific cacti garden are a short walk away at 7 Rangiora Street).
Castlecliff is being rejuvenated, and I came home inspired, thanks Whanganui.