Each year Artists Open Studios Whanganui sees over a hundred artists open their studio doors and welcome the public behind the scenes to explore their studio practice at the source. Visiting Whanganui during the two middle weekends of March, you find bright yellow flags dotting the cityscape marking points on the map where artists’ studios can be found.
Concentrated in the centre of town and rippling out towards the suburbs, each studio offers something different. The artists involved work in a dazzling array of mediums including, glass, photography, sculpture, enamel, drawing, and painting. Many of the studios are housed within historic building or designer homes. It is this shift in the environment in how the work is presented – outside of gallery walls and often in progress – that makes for a unique experience. The 2016 Artists Open Studios Whanganui event runs across two weekends, March 12 – 13 and March 19 – 20.
By Serena Siegenthaler
The Starting Point Exhibition. Featuring one artwork from each of the studios involved in Artist Open Studios Whanganui.
The Starting Point Exhibition. Artwork by Jill Maas.
Each year installations are featured in a historic brickwork building called Bricksticks.
Bricksticks. Works in progress by resident artist Greg Betts.
Bedford Studios. Artwork by Cracked Ink.
Bedford Studios. Driftwood eagle sculpture by Jack Marsden-Mayer.
The flags act as markers for the studios.
Rachael Garland’s studio is filled with mysterious characters on recycled wood.
Each studio is unique in its content and presentation. Raymond’s Sculpture Garden is a tranquil plot of native bush on the outskirts of Whanganui that has been filed with the artistic creations of sculptor Raymond de la Hay.
Sue Cook hosted painting, printmaking and drawing workshops in her studios throughout the event.
The Glass Olympics sees teams of glass artists competing against each other in a friendly and light hearted contest.
Jewellery artist Frances Stachl only opens her studio to the public once a year during Artists Open Studios.