Artist Open Studios Whanganui 2017 officially launched on Thursday night - bringing with it some exciting new changes.

Open Studios is an annual event which sees Whanganui artists open their galleries to the public for two weekends in autumn. Open Studios 2017 will be held March 25-26 and April 1-2.

On Thursday evening Open Studios held a launch and an information evening at Cooks Garden, for artists interested in taking part in Open Studios next year.

Coordinator Sarah Williams said for the first time the registration process will be held online, through the Open Studios website.


"This will make it very easy for the artists, and also help us to be more efficient," Miss Williams said.

Another change for 2017 is that the trail guide will be replaced by an artists' catalogue.

"We want to bring the art to the forefront, so every artist who registers will get the opportunity to submit a piece of artwork for the front cover of the catalogue," Miss Williams said.

Twelve finalists will be chosen, followed by a winner whose work will feature on the front cover of the catalogue. A winner will be chosen from the finalists by a panel including artist Billy Apple, fashion designer Adrian Hailwood, and a mystery judge.

Miss Williams said for the first time, artists will be offered a professional photography option for an extra fee with their registration.

"Shot by respected photographer Leigh Mitchell-Anyon, artists will receive a professional studio image printed and published to a high standard in the catalogue- artists will also receive this high resolution image on a disk for them to use for their own promotional or reproduction purposes."

She said artists would be encouraged to offer gallery talks and workshops in the week between Open Studios.

"It's a good opportunity for them to earn some extra money, and to keep the momentum of Open Studios going during the week," Miss Williams said.

The guided tours and the Starting Point exhibition - both popular features of Open Studios - will continue in 2017.

+To register for Open Studios visit Registration opens on October 1 and closes November 1.