It's been 10 years since the creation of the David Fine Scholarship that has opened many creative doors for Hawke's Bay artists, both locally and nationally.

Hastings District Community Arts Trust chairman Graham Linwood created the scholarship in memory of Fine, who was instrumental in establishing the Arts Centre.

He formed the trust to purchase Harvey's Building on Russell St, from where the hub continues to operate today.

Now, an exhibition of work by the scholarship recipients will be held at the Arts Centre on Monday, November 12 through until the November 23.


On November 18, an open forum will also be held by Keith Thorsen, where recipients from both Toimairangi and EIT Ideas School will outline their past, present and future.

"Not only are we celebrating the scholarship, but also the fact that we've owned the building for 25 years, it really is very special," Linwood said.

Arts Inc community arts development manager Pitsch Leiser said the building was a major asset for the region.

"It allows us to accommodate about 600 artists a year through the building and exhibit their works, with a real focus on Hawke's Bay artists."

All David Fine scholarship recipients were those who had gone through EIT or the Toimarangi Arts programme.

"We established the scholarship to help students in their last year. The money doesn't actually go to the students, it goes to the educational facility and they credit it off their fees," Linwood said.

"When David died, it was decided we needed an important way to remember him and being the sort of person that he was, this is something he would think we'd done well."

Fine, a bank manager, came to Hawke's Bay in the late 1970s and was involved in raising money for the Keirunga Gardens buildings.

He was then asked to become involved in the community arts council and formed a number of close relationships with the Hawke's Bay community.

"He was very focused fellow and when he came up with the idea of purchasing the Harvey Building, there was no arguing, he had the 'yes we can do it attitude'," Linwood said.

"A lot of people from the art community got involved and supported it. They could see what potential it would have and they knew it was going to be an asset, especially to own it as a community."

Linwood said the scholarship and the building was an important way of acknowledging Fine's work year on year, as well as promoting the constant growth and confidence of the arts within the local community.

Leiser said Fine had a place in many hearts around the community, but his friendship with Linwood was one that was unique.

Linwood, being an architect, has a passion for heritage buildings and when the opportunity arose for the trust to purchase the Harvey Building, he worked closely with Fine to restore it to what it is today.

"The end result is pretty darn good. We still need to keep working on it and making it more adaptable and usable for the public."

Leiser said the 10-year celebration was also to recognise Fine's work and vision when the building was purchased.

"When the arts council approached the Hastings District Council and asked for help to purchase the building, they said no.

"That really fuelled the fire for David and he said, 'well we're going to do it anyway'. That was really visionary.

"To have this asset to work with is huge. One of the things I enjoy every fortnight is to walk into this space and see a new exhibition. It's not just a celebration of the artists, it's a celebration of the space."