Exhibition solely for youth

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The annual Muka Youth Print Exhibition will be held again in Gore on Saturday.

Gallery programmes officer Marcella Geddes said since its inception in 1987, the Muka Youth Print Exhibition had been touring the country every year, exhibiting original stone lithographs exclusively for young people.

“In many cases the children that bought prints back in the early days of the exhibition are now bringing their own children along to experience art as a new and important part of their world,” Mrs Geddes said.

“As a result, generations of children are gradually building up amazing art collections,” she said.

Now in its 31st year, it was arguably New Zealand’s longest ongoing art event. During that time, 165 artists – 88 of them from New Zealand – had contributed to the project, and tens of thousands of young people had been attending and building their own art collections, she said.

The exhibition provided a unique opportunity for young people (aged 5-18 inclusive) to buy original lithographic prints in an environment where adults were not allowed, Mrs Geddes said.

All unframed prints cost $75 and the artists’ names were covered during the show.

“This encourages children to choose work based on their appreciation of the work rather than the artist’s reputation or potential for financial gain.”

Over the years most of New Zealand’s major artists had produced lithographic prints for the exhibition, including Ralph Hotere, Pat Hanly, Nigel Brown, John Reynolds, Gretchen Albrecht and Dick Frizzell, to name but a few, Mrs Geddes said.

Entry to the exhibition is free.

Any young person was welcome and there was no pressure to buy, she said.

“Because no adults are allowed into the exhibition, the children select prints based on their own individual taste.”

Co-founder and Muka director Magda Van Gils has been involved in the project since the beginning.

“The method of exhibition allows young people to develop a unique awareness of art that cannot be taught. By entering the room without adults, and with an opportunity to choose, young people really engage with the works of art, on their own terms.”

The 2017 collection will be at the Eastern Southland Gallery in Gore for one day, Saturday, from 10am to 6pm.

To learn more about the Youth Print concept visit http://www.muka.co.nz/youth-prints.html

To learn more about the exhibition tour http://www.muka.co.nz/youth-prints/new-zealand.html