Waiheke Winter Art Festival

The waiheke winter art festival.  What a phenonomon it has become.  Every year at Queens birthday weeekend waiheke is decended upon by a group of very prestigious art buyers and collectors.  It sells out in about 3 hours.  There are 16 cars that pick up passagners from the ferry each day and take the people on a tour of ten of the islands resident artists.  It started back in 2010 and has pickup up more and more interest as the years have gone on.  It started off, back in the early days at about $60 a head and now people pay in excess of $200 for the experience.  It has become the most sort after art experience in NZ.  What I love is that the buyers and collectors come to the island and get to meet you in person.  They spend time listening to what you paint about, why you paint, what inspires you.  And I love that I get to meet and listen to the people. I’ve met some amazing folks over the yeras.  Some poeple who now come back every year to visit, outside of the festival, just to see what I’m working on.  It really is extraordriary.  These days it is a slick operation with an events company running the show, caters, vinyards, sponsors, pr people, etc.  Back I likc to also remember back to the eartly days when it was just a bunch of passionate artsits and the community gallerty putting on the show.  We would meet in the weekends and evening and come up with ideas to get the game rolling.  Those were exciting times.  We all sold work on the first weekend it was open. More even than we had expected too.  I remember on the monday evening after it was all over the very fist time it was on and G and I drinking a bottle of wine, saying, wow, that was better than we imagined. I think I had 8 red dots on my calendars from the three days and a few more commissions to boot.  It was a fabulous way to lead into my wellington show that was shortly after.  It made for a great winter experience.  Something to look forward to in the dark months.  We had done some really nice wintery things.  We had a little brazier going outside all day that Maddie and Graeme attended.  We had a beautiful bowl of winter sweets sitting out for people to suck on.  I can cleaned out my studio entriely and painted a fresh coat of white on it, to freshen it up. It really looked brilliant. I had my studio lit particularly well – G and I intalled a new lighting system so the place felt bright and warm.  We really couldn’t have done a better job.

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