Textile event draws top talent

By Sam Kilmister

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DRAWN TO ART: Fibre arts workshops are back this month where exhibitions will be open to the public.PHOTO/LEWIS GARDNER
DRAWN TO ART: Fibre arts workshops are back this month where exhibitions will be open to the public.PHOTO/LEWIS GARDNER

Creativity is set to hit Whanganui this month as more than 80 people from as far as Australia will meet to expand their artistic armoury.

The fifth annual fibre and textile workshop is spread over five days from April 18-22 at the Ad Astra Hostel at Whanganui Girls' College.

Fibre Arts New Zealand organises the event which has six international tutors, each in a different field of fibre arts.

Co-organiser Julz Coffey says the event is huge for the Whanganui arts community and is growing every year.

"We have a total of 81 people enrolled this year (up from 60 last year)," she said.

"We've got internationally known tutors who are real full-time paid artists, as well as women coming from Queenstown to Auckland and even Tasmania. It's not as small as you may think.

"We're bringing people to Whanganui, who are spending their money in Whanganui, so it's very good for the arts in Whanganui."

There are six overseas tutors from Germany, Australia and the United States. They will be taking intensive workshops on subjects such as collage, contemporary stitch, jewellery, printing patterns, textures and wax.

"It's good having six tutors taking six different aspects as everyone in the fibre arts community has a tutor to suit," Mrs Coffey said.

Mrs Coffey said the conference was also designed as a great opportunity for amateur artists to socialise and network.

"Our overall purpose is networking. We're getting like-minded people together and giving them the opportunity to work with international artists to improve their skills.

"We also get art teachers from across the country who use the workshops as professional development. It's a win-win for everyone."

Mrs Coffey said two ladies who attended the conference last year are now realising their dreams and had since registered to open studios in Whanganui to sell their art.

The conference finishes with an exhibition of the art produced over the course of the week, which is open to the public. All are welcome to the performing arts room at Whanganui Girls' College from 5.30pm, April 22.

There are still two places available for the jewellery and contemporary stitch workshop.

Enrolments cost $750 for a non-accommodated participant. The fee covers classes and food for the week. They can be brought on the Fibre Arts New Zealand website.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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