Art society’s autumn exhibition here

Artists at work . . . Showing off a few pieces from the upcoming exhibition are (from left) South Canterbury Art Society president Helen Willcock and members Vicki Truman, Joan Pullan and Ineke Dench. PHOTO: CONNOR HALEY

As a kaleidoscope of colour washes over the leaves, the South Canterbury Art Society prepares to open its annual autumn exhibition.

Beginning tomorrow morning, the event showcases and sells high-quality South Canterbury art, and offers local artists a full-scale exhibition experience.

President Helen Willcock said it would be the first time in the event’s history that artists would have all their entries displayed together.

‘‘In the past, we’ve usually displayed in a colour-coordinated way, but this year if I bring six of mine, for example, they will all be put up together.

‘‘It will help the artists display one big body of work, which definitely suits my sort of work because it doesn’t quite fit the genre of some of the others.’’

Over the three exhibitions held by the South Canterbury Art Society last year, 2006 people viewed 437 entries, with 86 works sold.

Mrs Willcock said she did not believe there would be another gallery in the region that could match those statistics.

‘‘It works out to around 20% of what gets put in sells, and I’d argue that in Timaru there aren’t many places that would sell that many in a year.

‘‘I was absolutely blown away when I did the numbers. I’m really proud of that.’’

She said membership in the society was very much on the rise.

‘‘We’ve got people who are new to this district or new to retirement and they want to do art. Some are really good, but they don’t know where to go or how to get into exhibitions, and some are just beginners who want to learn.

‘‘We’re here to encourage art, no judgement, just put your work up. We’ve got the knowledge to hand on to whoever may need it.

‘‘We have about 130 members, and every week we probably get two to four new people stopping by.’’

An important thing for people to remember was that all the art for sale was created by South Canterbury people and by making a purchase people were directly supporting local art, Mrs Willcock said.

The society also holds a spring exhibition and a more formal end-of-year exhibition at the Aigantighe Art Gallery in October.

It runs various workshops throughout the year as well as a Thursday art group that has been in operation since the 1950s.

The exhibition will begin tomorrow at 22 Gleniti Rd and continue until Sunday, May 12 from 10am-4pm each day.

Entry to the exhibition is free.