‘Huge response’ to art show

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"Popular demand .. Another successful Plunket Art Show has been held at Timaru's Aigantighe Art Gallery. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Alexia Johnston

Timaru’s popular Plunket Art Show is celebrating one of its most successful events since its launch 40 years ago.
Almost 2000 people visited Aigantighe Art Gallery to see the show, supported by RSM Law, from May 27 to June 11, almost double the number recorded in 2014.
Its growth in popularity was pleasing for the show’s organisers, including fundraising committee chairwoman Di Hay.
“It’s a huge response,” she said.
“This year we sold out for the capacity 225 opening night tickets a week before the show and were turning people away. It continues to rate as one of the highest foot traffic exhibitions through the gallery each year.”
In the past five years the event has raised $140,000, all of which was given to Plunket.
It is not yet known how much was raised this year.
The show’s 40th anniversary was marked this year, which prompted some special aspects, including the Forty concept, featuring works by school pupils, and a live art display by Waimate artist Bill Scott on May 28.
A people’s choice award was presented to Sarah Dunbar, of Craighead Diocesan School, for first place, for her entry in the Forty exhibition. Chrystal Mehrtens, Aliimau Fiso and Javarney Drummond, of Oceanview Heights School, were placed second, and Thanyamai Bulakul, of Craighead Diocesan School, was third.
“To sustain such a successful fundraiser for Plunket over 40 years is a huge acknowledgement to the community for its ongoing support and also to the hundreds of volunteers who have been part of the art show committee over such a long period of time,” Ms Hay said.
Keys to its success were the “very worthy cause” it supported and the fact Plunket was an organisation many people had had a connection with, she said.
The show featured mixed media, including paintings, prints, ceramics, glass and sculpture, sourced from artists throughout New Zealand.
“You’d be hard pressed to find such a wide-ranging collection of art anywhere in New Zealand at one time, and it’s now well established on the annual arts calendar for Timaru and South Canterbury and much anticipated,” Ms Hay said.

Visitor numbers
Plunket Art Show’s growth
May 23-June 8, 2014 – 1111
May 8-May 24, 2015 – 1466
May 28-June 12, 2016 – 1568
May 26-June 11, 2017 – 1963