ARTISTS Open Studios Whanganui kicks off tonight with the opening of the Starting Point exhibition.

Now in its 15th year, Whanganui's biggest celebration of art this year sees 100 artists working in 64 studios open their doors to the public this weekend and next weekend.

Starting Point, located at the the Whanganui Arts at the Centre on Taupo Quay, provides a taster for Open Studios - it contains one artwork from nearly all the studios taking part in Open Studios. The official opening will be held at 5.30pm today.

Open Studios co-ordinator, Serena Siegenthaler-Brown, said she was astonished by the diversity of artworks in the exhibition. There is glass, sculpture, wood art, metal art, prints, paintings, ceramics, photography, textile arts, jewellery and many others.

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Ms Siegenthaler-Brown said from 3.30pm today Mainstreet would hold an art-themed event at Majestic Square, including music and kids' arts activities.

There will also be the unveiling of the Mainstreet exhibition, in which artists' works will be displayed in businesses along Victoria Ave.

"Then at 5.30pm people can walk down the Avenue and have wine and nibbles at the Starting Point exhibition," Ms Siegenthaler-Brown said.

Studios - and the Starting Point exhibition - will be open 10am-4pm tomorrow and Saturday.

Open Studios returns at the same time next weekend, while Starting Point is open until March 28.

Visit www.openstudios.co.nz.