Raglan artists showcase stunning work at preview exhibition

The countdown is on for Easter’s Raglan Arts Weekend, and March sees the opening of the Preview Exhibition and 300 x 300 show at the Old School Arts Centre.
Art fans, both local and visiting, will get a sneak peek into what’s on offer at the Raglan Arts Weekend, with all 37 registered artists displaying two of their works for sale. One of these works is a one-off, 300 x 300mm artwork created especially for this year’s event, and the other is a showcase piece.

“What makes the Preview Exhibition really special is that you can pick up an exclusive piece from a favourite artist for $200, but there’s only one per artist and so you really have to be on the ball,” says Nicky, Raglan Arts Weekend coordinator.

It’s not only about buying art, visitors will also be able to discover new talent with the 13 new artists who have signed up this year. They will also be able to catch up with established favourites and see what they’ve been up to, as well as plan who they want to visit over the Arts Weekend.

The Preview Exhibition will run from March 22 until April 22, 2019 from 10am until 3pm at the Old School. There will be an opening night on Thursday 21 March at 6.30pm for artists and their friends and family, and members of the Raglan Community Arts Council.

Visitors study works at the 2018 Preview Exhibition

At the easel with Megan Hockly

It’s less than three months until the Raglan Arts Weekend!

We’re full swing into marketing the much loved event across the North Island, to ensure we get as many art aficionados as possible to our shores.

This month we catch up with local painter Megan Hockly, who discusses the relationship between her paintings, life and her surroundings and the importance of keeping a visual diary.

How do you describe your art?

My art is figurative, a bit like ‘Where the wild things are’! I definitely paint from my imagination and often it becomes a story about what is happening in my life. Sometimes it’s dark and other times lighter and happier; obviously a reflection on life for me at the time.  

Where do you find your inspiration and how do you channel that into your work?

My inspiration comes from what I am going through in my life, what interests me and what I see around me. I guess it all merges; I have always loved exploring this in my work. Sometimes I look back on a painting which I may have not fully understood at the time but can see the messages and feelings later on.

Tell us a bit about your relationship with Art. How did you “get into it”?

My relationship with art started early on. I would hound my Mum to buy craft materials to make projects and my Grandmother taught me how to knit. I loved Art at school, coercing my Mum to let me leave Sacred Heart for Hillcrest High, where they offered more Art subjects at senior level. I went to Art School for tertiary study and it has been a path I have taken ever since.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on finishing paintings! I have just started working again full time as a teacher so I have been focused on that. I had a great exhibition at Rock-it Kitchen here in Raglan which lasted 6 months….unheard of! So I am very lucky to still have an outlet for my work. I am excited to be exploring new motifs in my work derived from my interest in psychology. It is mainly how to cope with and live with the darker side of our psyche. Addiction, depression, anxiety… all those feelings and behaviours can take hold and are so hard to let go of. 

Megan Hockly plays with light and dark in her art.

Megan Hockly plays with light and dark in her art.

What do you find most valuable about the Raglan Arts Weekend?

The highlight for me is meeting and talking to people who love Art and relate to it. The conversations I have and contacts I make are invaluable for me as an artist.  

How do you find time to access your creative brain with 3 daughters, a job, plus the school holiday Arts programme?

The only way I manage to keep painting is by always carrying a visual diary on me. If there are any of my students reading this, they will laugh because I am such an advocate of this. If you are someone who needs to write or draw to work through thoughts, then making sure you have a small portable diary in which to express your feelings is just gold. I use this when I need to find new material because I always have a few sketches thrown in.

Husband and wife duo exhibit at RAW

Raglan artists will soon open their studio doors to art lovers across the country for the 10th Raglan Arts Weekend – RAW – in Easter 2019. Two RAW artists looking forward to discussing their work with visitors are husband and wife duo, Toni Kingstone and Greg Hogan.
Whilst Toni is no stranger to the Raglan Arts Weekend, Greg will be exhibiting for the first time, bringing a fresh new dimension with his ironwork skills.

“I first became interested in ironwork when my teenage son joined a Viking re-enactment group,” says Greg. “I was so inspired by the weaponry; my initial designs were daggers and axes which I made using a homemade coal fired forge.”

Two years later, Greg has now progressed to a gas forge and his creations include door knockers, candlesticks and other homewares, along with jewellery and more artistic pieces.
It’s been an exciting couple of years for Toni too since she took part in the Raglan Arts Weekend for the first time in 2017. Since then, she’s exhibited at Raglan’s Rivet Gallery, the Old School Arts Centre, Arts Post Gallery and in solo exhibitions at Colour Burger Studio in Te Awamutu and the WSA Next Level Gallery in Hamilton.

“When I’m creating art, I feel both energised and at peace – it really is my happy place,” says Toni. “I loved drawing as a child and in 2016 I rediscovered my passion for painting, set up a designated studio space and started producing a range of limited-edition prints alongside originals.”

As an artist, Toni is heavily influenced by the surrounding countryside, in particular by the local maunga and native birds. Mainly working in acrylics and charcoal, she creates peaceful artworks that combine nature’s elements, often incorporating hidden objects the viewer may not see at first glance.

During RAW Toni and Greg can be found at Ruapuke Retreat, 527 Ruapuke Rd (GPS, 564 Ruapuke Rd).

From left - Greg Hogan at work, a selection of Greg’s metalwork, a taste of Toni Kingstone’s paintings and Toni in her studio

From left – Greg Hogan at work, a selection of Greg’s metalwork, a taste of Toni Kingstone’s paintings and Toni in her studio

37 artists signed up for RAW 2019

Registrations for 2019’s Raglan Arts Weekend (RAW) have now closed and a whopping 37 artists have signed up to be a part of the open studio weekend over Easter. RAW coordinator Nicky Brzeska says the event, a firm favourite for art aficionados across the country, promises to continue to wow with 14 new artists and many of the established favourites taking part.

“We’re blown away by the number of sign-ups and the diversity in talent that we’re seeing this year,” Nicky says. “Along with some amazing painters, mixed media artists, photographers and ceramicists, we also have tattoo artists, those who forge steel, a furniture carver, a weaver, a floral designer and even an artist who works with dyed beeswax,” she says.

New artists for this year include – Pauline Abrahams, Marianne Aschenbrenner, Karin Bettley, Vince David, Hope Didsbury, Mike Haugh, Greg Hogan, Catherine Houston, Ross Jones and Catherine O’Kelly – both emerging artists last year, Brodie Reynolds, Jess Santorik, Raglan Buds and the Raglan Writers’ Collective.
RAW – April 20-22 

LAST CALL for Raglan Arts Weekend registrations

The walk to fabric artist Jean Carbon’s studio.

Raglan Arts Weekend is on the move to a new date and with a new project manager at the helm. The arts weekend will move from Auckland Anniversary weekend to Easter weekend in 2019 and former London-based public relations consultant Nicky Brzeska hopes to add her PR, brand management skills and fresh ideas to the popular art trail.

The format will remain the same – a preview exhibition in the weeks leading up to the weekend at the Old School and open studios during the weekend. Feedback from artists from 2018 is that not only did they sell work, they also made key
connections with art lovers across the country.

“The main message to get to artists is registrations are closing soon – Friday 9 November is the last day to register,” Nicky says. “Even though the event is in April, we want the brochures designed and printed before Christmas to ensure maximum exposure over the holidays. It also means we can really focus on PR early next year.”

Nicky recently organised an Artist Huddle at the Old School where an impressive number of artists and art enthusiasts gathered to provide their views on the event. “We received fantastic feedback and some really good ideas.”

Nicky Brzeska

Nicky Brzeska

This year, there is a website for the first time. Along with the four week exhibition and the extensive marketing for the weekend, the website will provide artists with more exposure and opportunities to profile themselves and their art.

“A key focus is to refresh the brand and ensure that it’s consistent across platforms – the brochure, the web site, the Facebook page and other marketing materials.”

Ceramic artist Sarah Bing is back for her second time at Raglan Arts Weekend

Sarah Bing at work in her studio

Sarah Bing at work in her studio

Raglan ceramic artist Sarah Bing is back for her second time at Raglan Arts Weekend in Easter, 2019. We asked her a few questions about art, the weekend and living in Raglan.

 How would you describe your work? Expressive and impulsive, with more than a small dose of anal retentiveness thrown in.

When inspiration hits how do you channel that into your work?
I usually do a quick sketch and/or write a line that relates to what I’d like to do.

What inspires you generally? Other artists and their work, colour, interior design, music and poetry.

Where did you get the inspiration from for this particular piece? Reading a book about modernism in landscape design

Tell us about artists you admire? Del Kathryn Bartons extreme profusion of profuseness, the colour, richness and detail of her imagined worlds and creatures. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s immediacy and fervour. En Iwamura’s ceramic works, huge, masterfully made and full of whimsy. David Hockney’s saturated colour.

Work by Sarah Bing

What are you working on at the moment? Larger ceramic sculptures – assessing how to make my ideas into a reality, and create engaging surprising works on a bigger scale.

Tell us something you like about living in Raglan. Beautiful Raglan! The close proximity to nature and its varying, often hostile moods.

Where can we see your work? In my home studio, although I will be taking on stockists in 2019!

What do you like about the Arts Weekend? It’s a great opportunity to engage with people in a different, more relaxed way and to get instant feedback about new work and ideas.

What do you think about the move to Easter? I think it’s a great idea! Now we can have homemade hot cross buns and some sort of chocolatey cocktail over the weekend!

Would you recommend the weekend to other artists? It’s such a good way to meet buyers and engage with people in a different way. It’s also an excellent opportunity to get work sold!

How was last year for you? Hot! But enjoyable. It was my first year and I loved getting to meet people and have longer chats about my work!

JOIN US FOR AN ARTIST HUDDLE

Come and meet fellow artists and share your views on Raglan Arts Weekend, Easter 2019.

Thursday 25th October, 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

At Raglan Old School Arts Centre
5 Stewart St
Raglan, 3225
07 825 0023

Raglan Arts Weekend 2019

Save the date for Raglan Arts Weekend 2019 in Easter – April, Saturday 20 to Monday 22. A popular fixture for art lovers since 2009, the weekend is a much-anticipated date on the Raglan calendar and a wonderful opportunity to showcase local artists to a wide and appreciative audience. Marketed extensively throughout the North Island, RAW draws hundreds of arts lovers to Raglan Whaingaroa.

A preview exhibition will be held at the Raglan Old School Arts Centre in the weeks leading up to Easter and during the Raglan Arts weekend the exhibition will continue with local artists displaying their artwork.

Visitors make the Old School their first port of call for the Arts Weekend before visiting artists with open studios.

As well as the Raglan Arts Weekend event, participating artists are included in the Raglan Arts Guide. We encourage you to contact our artists at any time during the year to arrange a time to visit.

Copies of the Raglan Arts Guide are available all year round at the Raglan i-SITE (15 Wainui Rd) and the Raglan Old School Arts Centre (5 Stewart St). Prior to the Arts Weekend copies are available at Raglan cafes and galleries and other locations around the Waikato.

Please phone ahead if you are visiting a studio outside of the Raglan Arts Weekend times.