The rise of the sponsored group show…

I was very lucky to be asked my Lynn Sandri to be part of her group show in Wellington.  Its a four person show with Jason Hicks, Dean Proudfoot, Lynn and Myself. Its been going for almost 10 years with me now.  I first showed with them in 2011.  It was a fabulous show.  I sold out before the opening night. Couldn’t believe it.  So exciting.  So on the opening night I took a couple of big commissions, which pretty much set me up for the year.  After that I had another group show start in Auckland with Jane Blackmore, Anne-Marie Jean and Alison Coulthurst.  And that one was a sell out show each year as well.   The show with Lynn is very static, it stays in Wellington.  The show with Jane, Alison and Anne though, travels all around the world.  We have a global sponsor who likes to take up to different cites and show us off to the world.  It really is the most amazing thing.  I am very committed to both shows.  The one in Wellington is great because mum is there and all my old mates.  Mike is still doing tuesday nights. He probably will until he dies.  There are two distinct things I like about both of them.  Firstly the one with Lynn is very professional and I’ve learnt alot about working with other artists and of growing something together.  I had to get over my slight distaste with her.  She upset me years before we started working together and I had to forgive her for that before we worked together again.  Which was a simply process of acknowleging that I was holding a grudge and then giving it up.  I love that show and its connection to Wellington.  But its the other one that really makes me sing.  Its challenging and fun and full on.  We have a manger of course who puts all the shows on.  And we give 20% to charity, which we love.  So its almost like having a job, which we may or may not get paid for.  That said, they always pay all the exhibition costs.  The transport, the accomodation, the marketing, the event costs.  We always get a huge amont of publicity from it though, which is what the sponsor wants out of it and we love that.  It allows us to practice our work, to meet amazing people in amazing parts of the world and to live our dream.  Wow.  It is amazing.  All of us sell about 50 paintings a year for about 5 grand each.  Its pretty remarkable. The did a program on 50/50 about us last year.  Another great coup for the sponsor.  I love not only that it is a remarkable thing for a bunch of artists to do, but that it has never been done before and that it involved three New Zealanders. Once again at the forefront of world innovation.  We’ve got to be proud of that!!!

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