The Papamoa Art Group began six years ago when six friends got together in a garage to pursue their artistic interests.
Within a few months the word had got around and the garage was bursting at the seams with many more like-minded people joining them.
One of these talented people, Lynne Harbison, began the search for a bigger place with an affordable rent. The Papamoa library was central so after negotiations the group moved to one of the rooms in the library and the Papamoa Art Group was born.
The group now has 40 members. It is co-ordinated by Lynne and runs as a community collective unit where each member pays an annual subscription to cover the rent. Other costs are met by each individual on a 'pay as you go' basis.
Each year the group has an exhibition to showcase the work members have been doing. Holding an exhibition also enables the groups' emerging artists to display their work for the first time after building up the confidence to do so.
Members of the Papamoa Art Group.
The photo depicts just a small sample of work recently completed by members who will be exhibiting in June. From left to right they are Vivienne McNeill, Val Burton, Tanea Ray, Liz Cross, Mary Johnson and Clare Hodder seated.
The Papamoa Art Group mainly come from the Papamoa area. They all have their own individual styles and are at different levels of achievement. Several workshops are held through the year, run by 'outside' artists and tutors as well as technique exercises led by group members. Helpful information and tips from one another add to the learning experience for everyone. The group is friendly and sociable and get together on Fridays or after meetings for a coffee and a chat.
David Sinclair working on a new painting.
New member David Sinclair is enjoying his return to painting after many years. Hailing from Te Awamutu, David attended art classes in the 1980s and painted in oils for seven years. After a long gap he now has plenty of free time to restart his interest and is trying out acrylics for the first time. He is enjoying belonging to the art group with all it has to offer.
With many new members exhibiting, this year's exhibition will have the added interest of more individual styles of work. It is also an incentive for all members to improve their skills. Mediums used are acrylic, oil, watercolour, mixed media, pastel and pencil.
With over 20 artists contributing over 100 artworks, the exhibition, I've been promises a colourful array of work as varied as the people who belong to the group. I'm hoping that in addition to the usual accomplished paintings of flowers and beach scenes that we will be seeing some work that really pushes the boundaries and presents us with some thought provoking challenges.
It will be a 'rolling' exhibition so that when a work is sold it will be replaced by another. All artwork is for sale. A raffle will be run to offset expenses and entry is free.
The exhibition will open on Friday 15th June and will run until Saturday 24th June at Fashion Island opposite Esquires Cafe on Gravatt Road, Papamoa. The artwork is on show 9.30 am to 5pm daily.
Be sure to jot the dates down on your arts calendar.
If you or your group are having an exhibition or an art event be sure to get in contact with me at firstname.lastname@example.org..nz and I'll happily spread the news with the help of Sunlive online. My writing is a free service for those participating in our art community and hopefully the blogs add a little additional flavour to the cultural life of our wonderful city.
Pete Morris is an occasional painter and an art lover. He is a free-lance writer with a particular interest in promoting the visual arts in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.