Turned out all right on the night

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Fundraising...West Otago Arts exhibition secretary Norma Parks inspects the artworks auctioned to raise funds for Diabetes New Zealand.

After selling just five tickets before opening night on Friday, the West Otago Taste of Art exhibition committee members were not confident of a large turnout.

However, they were in for a surprise.

Robertson said numbers picked up rapidly, with 60 door sales on the night.

“It was just fantastic,” Mrs Robertson said.

More than 300 art lovers came to the West Otago Community Centre to see the biennial exhibition over its four-day run.

“We’re very happy with the amount of people through the door, and the number of sales.”

Community interest was on a par with that for the last exhibition two years ago, she said.

This was reassuring, because the committee came close to calling off the event in the wake of Covid-19.

“We really considered pulling the pin.”

There were 209 pieces exhibited, she said.

“They’re from Otago and Southland but there are a lot of locals from Gore and Tapanui on show as well.”

Michaela Voigt won the supreme award and best painting award.

Lucy Robertson was awarded best emerging artist, while best photography went to Kirsten McIntyre and best other exhibit went to Jude Winchester.

Mrs Robertson exhibited two paintings herself, one of which sold.

It was was a creation inspired by Covid-19 and made using spray paint and hand-cut stencils.

“That was the highlight for me.”

Wedding dresses from 1958-2006 were on show in another popular exhibit, she said.

“They’re all so different.”

Charity was also part of the exhibition.

“For each exhibition we pick a theme and invite artists to paint something for us.”

This year, artists were given a hexagonal canvas to create a work to be sold off in a silent auction.

Diabetes New Zealand was the beneficiary of this year’s auction, which raised $1500.

The event would be held again in 2023, Mrs Robertson said.