Taupo put on an excellent art event at Queen’s Birthday Weekend – an art trail involving over 20 artists at studios, homes, gallerys – all mapped out and listed for ease of visits. A friend and I managed almost the total artists over two days – we viewed a lot of very talented artists and meeting them in person often adds to the experience of purchasing artworks.

Included was Wildwood Gallery  at Waitahanui south of Taupo which I have purchased from before and always drop in to view new works by painter Sue Graham and  the unique artworks of Robbie Graham.  This time another two paintings were purchased from Sue’s latest works.  This is a gallery which should not be passed by.  The variety of artworks and quality never fails to appeal.

There were many artists in their home studios;  Jennifer Cook-Battersby. Judith Alexander-Graham, Jo Rankin, Lorraine Cholmondeley-Smith and Antoinette Beck with her lovely boat paintings.  In most cases the artist was there discussing what inspired them, how they created their works, answering questions, discussing works in progress.

Artists included some printmakers such as Sally-Ann Davies and Maggie Dawson – the area of art that I am personally not drawn to but had many interested visitors on the day we were there.

Various clay sculptures and mixed media artists were at The Mallards Studio & Gallery including Jacquie Goldsmith. We also saw Suzie Kuper’s works.  Of special note were the detailed botanical drawings by Carole Cornes at the Mallards Studio.  It was easy to see why she had attained a prestiguous merit award for her botanical works.

Some larger displays at the Suncort Motel, Taupo Museum & Art Gallery (Taupo Embroiderers’ Guild display of heirlooms of the future) and 3Art Gallery (beautiful wood works) had many works by a variety of artists and required more time to view.  Active Arts in Redoubt Street displayed Nancy Tschetner’s fascinating sand paintings – using over 40 shades of natural sand.

L’Arte Cafe and Lava Glass are well know studios/cafes in the Taupo area displaying glassworks of Lynden Over and beautiful ceramic sculptures.

The boldness of works and variety made the grouping of works by Barbara Can Der Broek, Donna Stedman and Sue Pearce in Acacia Bay stand out for this art admirer.

This event not only needs to continue regularly as it is now but also be duplicated in other communities throughout New Zealand.

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