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Watch NZH Local Focus: Whanganui Artists open their studios

By Sieska Verdonk

Every year for the last 16 years, Whanganui's arts community has staged Artists Open Studios.

It's a two week opportunity for locals and visitors to see what happens inside these creative spaces, and purchase the works on display.

"It's grown a lot. In the first event there was about 11 artists as a river side event. Now it's grown to 77 studios all over the Whanganui region," says Sarah Williams, Artists Open Studios event coordinator.

Last year, the event brought an estimated 5000 people to town, and it keeps on growing with eight new studios open this year.

Emma Cunningham makes mixed media artwork and jewellery.

"Open studios weekend is always a very busy weekend. Not necessary just for sales, but for foot traffic as well. Really really busy," says Mrs Cunningham.

Jodi Clark, who has a young family, says they moved back to the region from China three years ago for the lifestyle.

"I studied art here, and there is a lot of people that I studied art with that have returned here to make art full time. The nature of living in a smaller city allows you to have that freedom to spend on your art and less time sitting in traffic," says Mrs Clark.

This year there are weekday events, workshops and gallery floor talks.

Artists Open Studios runs until Sunday night.

Made with funding from

- NZ Herald

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