SOUTHLAND artists enjoyed international exposure at the Affordable Art Fair in Melbourne last week.
Southland artist and Chiaroni Gallery director Greg McDonald said talks were in progress for one of the Southland artists to be represented by a major dealer gallery in Santa Monica, in the United States.
McDonald had also been offered an artist residency in Italy.
McDonald had been invited to attend the fair to show his digital portrait Generation as part of a special exhibit.
Along with his own work, McDonald took artworks from Southland artists Dave Goodin, Lyle Penisula, Christopher Flavell, Deow, Steve Solomon, Natalie Walker, Johnny Penisula, Greg Lewis, Cory Varcoe, Cherie Te Orangaroa Downes, Ruth Crouchley, Morgan James and Tracey Tawhiao to show at the fair.
The Chiaroni Gallery was the only New Zealand gallery represented at the fair, he said. It was also the first time Southland artists had been represented and exhibited overseas by a Southland gallery.
Sales had been steady and the interest in the Southland artists had been “huge”, he said.
Members of the Te Wharekura O Arowhenua kapa haka group also attended the fair to perform waiata and haka on the opening night.
“To say I’m proud of these tamariki is an understatement,” McDonald said.
“They represented their whanau, their kura (school) and their region with amazing grace and vitality.
“Visitors were blown away by their presence, their mauri (life essence) and their ahua (character).”
The fair featured thousands of original, contemporary artworks from Australian and international galleries, attracting 15,000 to 20,000 visitors throughout its three-day run.
It was one of 10 art fairs held around the world, including Amsterdam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Milan and New York.
McDonald said he hoped to represent Southland artists in Hong Kong next year.