Taramea Bay-inspired work scores top prize

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WITH a flick of her brush, a “prolific” Southland artist has painted her way to the top and taken out a Supreme Award Winner title.

A standout competitor, Dunedin’s Janet De Wagt, flawed the judges with her winning piece Taramea Bay From The Rocks at the Preston Russell Law Art Awards Exhibition, at the Riverton Community Arts Centre earlier this month.

Community Art Centre co-ordinator Rebecca Cooper said the entries were judged based on their quality, the materials used and how they were presented.

“Janet’s work inspires other artists, her skill and passion motivates artists from all different mediums.”

Emerging and established artists from throughout Southland, Otago and Central Otago were offered the chance to submit their work, with a “no theme” guideline to inspire diversity and creative freedom in the work produced.

The competition celebrated its fourth year running, with its opening night on Saturday, April 20.

The room was filled with more than 70 people, along with three guest judges who presented the awards on the night.

Who would be crowned supreme winner was a collective decision made by the judges, with three other awards presented by each judge for their personal favourite piece.

Ms Cooper said because art was seen from an “objective” point of view, each piece spoke to the judges differently.

The art was critiqued based on the piece as a whole and the process which would have gone into making it come to life.

Gemma Baldock’s A Right Royal Ruckus won a judge’s choice award, as well as Laire Purick’s Humphrey and Sue Rutherford’s piece Scorched Earth

Other entries included a video poem, sculptures, woodwork, photography and painting, which were all created specifically for the event.

Some artists who entered were new to the art sphere and still learning, while others had been producing work for years but had never had it displayed in an exhibition before.

Ms Cooper said the event gave local artists an opportunity to ‘get their work out there’ and showed the diversity within the art community.

She said the event would not have been possible without the help of the volunteers and the funding from the Preston Russell Law firm.

Held at 149 Palmerston St, Riverton, the exhibition runs until Sunday, May 19, and is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-4pm.

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