Art collective to show diverse works

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Artists Toni Halliday (left) with some of the Memory Blocks she created, and Carol Clapp with What Women Did During The War - Riverton Peace Arch 1919, which will both feature in A Brush With Art exhibition at the Riverton Community Art Centre next week.

ECLECTIC, realist, impressionist, naive vignette and “splash and burn” are words used by Riverton amateur artists to describe their works included in the exhibition A Brush With Art.

Artist Carol Clapp said the collective had timed the opening of the exhibition to coincide with the Riverton Christmas Eve Lions’ Parade, along Palmerston St.

“We are a group of eight friends who have painted and laughed together over many years.”

They were excited to exhibit their work, she said.

Clapp took up painting six years ago when she attended an open workshop with Riverton artist Dawn Barry, which morphed into the group.

“I already knew my neighbours and we got together (to paint).”

“It began at Dawn’s studio… a friend gave me supplies (to get me started).”

Originally from the United States, Clapp said during the past 18 years, she spent half the year in Riverton, returning to the US for the other six months.

However, she only painted while in Riverton, she said.

“I can’t paint in America… but I do feel very welcome in Riverton, inspired. There is no judgement here and the group is very supportive.”

As part of the A Brush with Art exhibition, Clapp selected her What Women Did During The War – Riverton Peace Arch, 1919.

Described as a naive vignette, she said the piece was inspired by a black-and-white postcard in Te Hikoi Museum.

“The scene depicts Palmerston St as it was in 1919. Museum staff agreed the Peace Arch was probably installed by women to celebrate the end of World War 1.”

Collective member and artist Toni Halliday, who described her style as “splash and burn”, had settled into the seaside village full-time about four years ago after teaching at Wyndham’s Menzies College for 40 years.

The collective was very social included scones, chatting, and art, which added to the fun, she said.

“We come from all walks of life, and meld together… and encourage each other.”

Guest artists Fiona Michels, Jill Howie and Wayne Hill had also been invited to exhibit alongside the collective.

  • A Brush With Art, Riverton Community Art Centre, Thursday, December 24, to Sunday, January 3, 11am-4pm, except Christmas Day. Free.

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