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King Street creations showcased at Aratoi

Starting today, Masterton’s Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History is showcasing work produced over the past year at Masterton’s King Street Artworks.

For 26 years, the not-for-profit has provided a free, open-door, creative space that aims to help improve participant’s mental health and wellbeing through the creative arts and community connection in a relaxed supportive environment.

The team at King Street always looks forward to celebrating their artists’ work in a setting like Aratoi, King Street Artworks manager Ian Chapman said.

“Artists’ achievements at the Aratoi show are a true snapshot of what is happening in our wonderfully creative community.

“We are very lucky to have a neighbour like Aratoi that places the utmost value on the diversity of art and artists.

“Since our last exhibition there, we have seen artists grow in skill and confidence, and I am sure you will see that in the body of work created for this show.

“The eclectic mix of work will be full of joy and fun reflecting the experience at the workshop of King St Artworks.”

Anyone with an urge to create can “just turn up” at King Street and be supported by a team of tutors, so “artists of all abilities can experiment with a range of artistic mediums”, Chapman said.

The space includes an active ceramics studio and an onsite gallery that’s used to display and sell the work that’s produced, although the not-for-profit’s main “focus is the creative process and not creating work to sell”.

Participants can choose to take their work home or show their work in the King Street gallery or the annual Aratoi exhibition.

“Every artist will tell you how exciting – and a little bit stressful – it is to actually be able to show their work,” Chapman said.

Artist Tia Mita, who is exhibiting at Aratoi for the second time, said the process is a real thrill and is a way to get recognition despite her hesitations.

Mita said it’s hard for artists to break into the Masterton art scene if they are not well established and noted the Aratoi show is “an opportunity I wouldn’t normally have had if I hadn’t come to King Street”.

She said her eyes were opened when working on a piece inspired by Pablo Picasso, which led her to paint six others at home.

“Don’t knock something until you try it,” Mita said.

Artists from the show will share stories about their works at an artists’ talk to launch the exhibition at 11am today.

    The exhibition runs from March 2 to May 26. Admission is free, with koha appreciated. Contact [email protected] or visit aratoi.org.nz for more details.

    More information about King Street Artworks is available via kingstreetartworks.co.nz, 06 378 9777, and [email protected].

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