Kelly Scarrow is delighted with the first print run of the 2018 Artists Open Studios Whanganui guides.

The event manager said she is thrilled that the catalogues are ready before Christmas and a record 82 artists will be participating next year.

"It means that people from outside Whanganui will have plenty of time to plan their visits and make their bookings."

She reckons visitors will be "spoilt for choice" and the range of artists and different mediums will offer "something for everyone".

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"There are a number of new artists participating and some of them told me that Artists Open Studios has been their inspiration to move here.

Artists Open Studios Whanganui event manager Kelly Scarrow. Photo / Lewis Gardner
Artists Open Studios Whanganui event manager Kelly Scarrow. Photo / Lewis Gardner

"I'm really excited by what they have to offer.

"All the participating artists are extremely talented."

Ms Scarrow, who is also event manager for Mainstreet Whanganui Inc, has taken on the open studios management role for the first time this year and said she is grateful to previous manager Sarah Williams for the great work she has done.

The 38 page catalogue features cover art by 17-year-old Mikayla Baldwin, winner of the inaugural Young Artist Scholarship provided by Fine Arts Whanganui.

Mikayla also scooped the People's Choice Award which included the opportunity to have her work featured on the catalogue cover.

The catalogue contains maps, guides and colour photos of all the artists' work.

Artists Open Studios Whanganui Trust chairman Ross Fallen said he was also thrilled about the way the event is growing.

"The board recognises that this event continues to grow in size and diversity.

"In 2017 it was a significant increase to 77 studios and for 2018 it will be 82 studios.

"This iconic event will enter its 18th as one of those 'must experience' events on the Whanganui calendar.

"It's not just an opportunity to see our artists' endeavours but importantly, to support our artist community and purchase artworks produced in Whanganui by Whanganui artists.

"There is something for everyone and everyone's budget.

"Our current event manager, Kelly Scarrow, from Mainstreet Inc, has met this tasking role with amazing energy, extensive time and the one-on-one artist support that makes entry, as a regular or first timer, a very comfortable and supportive experience."

Artists Open Studios Whanganui 2018 will be launched on March 16 and guides will be available from Whanganui I-Site and other locations around town soon.