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Exhibition with heart is ‘out of the box’

A thriving Carterton art collective opened its latest exhibition at a warm and vibrant event last week, featuring live music from Jimmy Pope and Lucy Zouch.

“Out of the Box” at Heart of Arts [HOA] gallery on High Street runs throughout March and is “not just a title”, HOA committee member and artist Sonya Bremmers said.

“It’s a concept that captures the very essence of the artistic journey we are embarking on.

“The artists featured in this exhibition have put effort into creating works that defy conventional boundaries and are influenced by trailblazers that think outside the square, daring to challenge the norms.”

“Out of the Box” features photography, painting, ceramics, mixed media, jewellery, pottery, prints – indeed the whole gamut of artistic expression.

The collective’s membership currently stands at 70 – with over 30 volunteers who help keep the doors open five days a week and the collection refreshed.

Together with a nine-person committee, “we form a collaborative force that propels the gallery forward,” Bremmers, who describes herself as a “full-blown mixed media artist”, said.

“One thing I want to emphasise is that we are very inclusive,” she said.

“We are open to everybody. We do not judge. Instead, we celebrate the diverse perspectives that contribute to the rich tapestry of the local arts scene.”

“We are really welcoming, and everyone who comes here comments on that,” acrylic artist Lynne McCartney said.

Mosaic artist Hugh Gaywood, whose work “Lego Man”, was recently in the Wairarapa Art Review at Aratoi, agreed.

“Whether you are a novice or a specialist, you are worthy. Get in here!”

“The word ‘collective’ is really important to us,” Gaywood said. “It means everybody.”

The Heart of Arts’ emphasis on inclusivity is reflected in the price of membership, which currently stands at just $40 a year.

“Membership is what keeps the lights on, and the air conditioning on,” Gaywood said. “We need our membership to be as big as we possibly can make it without losing that collective approach.”

In addition to the support of its members and volunteers, HOA receives grants from the “good people” at Carterton Creative Communities and Masterton Trust Lands Trust [MTLT].

A recent MTLT grant helped pay for the purchase of four large boards which provide eight display spaces that members can hire for $20 a month.

Heart of Arts is at 47 High St North and is open Wednesday – Friday 10am to 4pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 2pm. “Out of the Box” runs to March 31. For more information, email [email protected].

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