For the first time people take the opportunity to chat with some of the artists whose works were chosen for the Rotorua Museum Art Awards 2017 Exhibition of Finalists.

Selected artists have been invited to be in the gallery on September 24 to answer questions about their artworks.

People can learn more about the creation and story behind some of the pieces from the artists themselves.

Read more: Art award winners revealed

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Rotorua Museum event co-ordinator Kathy Nicholls says the event came about because there are such great stories behind each artwork that do not get told.

"This is a great chance for artists to engage with the public, share the story behind the artwork, discuss any special techniques or explain their own career as an artist."

She says all finalist artists will be invited to take part but they will not know how many are able to attend until closer to the event.

"If they haven't seen the exhibition, it is a great time to come in and see the exhibition and hear more about their favourite works.

"If they have been interested in purchasing an artwork, a chance to meet the artist is a great way to learn more about a special piece."

She says the event is also an opportunity for people to come in and vote for their favourites to win the More FM People's Choice Award throughout the duration of the exhibition.

The exhibition showcases selected works from the 152 entered in this year's competition.

The finalist exhibition will be on display at Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre from September 9 until October 6 (10am to 4pm).

While the exhibition is on display, people can vote for their favourite artwork either in the gallery or via the Rotorua Museum Facebook page.

This year the People's Choice Award will offer $500 to the artist whose work receives the most public votes in the gallery and $500 for the work with the most online votes by the end of the exhibition (October 6).

Entry to both the event and exhibition are free.

For further information contact Rotorua Museum by calling (07) 351 8456 or emailing kathy.nicholls@rotorualc.nz.