Save the date for our much anticipated Christmas Market Preview Night this Friday, December 10 from 5pm-7pm. Enjoy light refreshments and be one of the first to browse the stalls stacked with quality handcrafted goodies. Tick everyone off your Christmas list in one hit, meet your friends and indulge in pre-Christmas retail therapy.
If you want to shop local and support Hawke's Bay artists, now is your chance. The market will be packed with beautiful homewares, a wide range of textiles, sweet-smelling soaps, baby gifts, jewellery, glassware, paintings and prints, candles, ceramics, Christmas decorations and much more.
The popular Metal Metcalfe team will be here with unique garden art and their signature earrings, and head straight to the Rhythm and Roses stand for Maryanne's 100 per cent natural face and bodycare products. Everything is made with love and passion, with many creators maintaining sustainable practices.
Forget the humdrum of mass-produced plastic that ends up in landfills, give a unique gift that is made to treasure.
As an additional treat at the CAN Christmas market preview night, you will have the opportunity to meet local published writer Niki Keehan for the Napier launch of her new book Samantha's Stories.
In 2003 Hawke's Bay Today asked for reader contributions for an article Growing Up In the Bay. Niki, a Taradale resident, had been to creative writing courses and rather fancied herself as a writer. Niki's family farm was on Highway 50 just outside Onga Onga, the farm now called Bee Haven. She wrote about summer school holidays in the 1950s and playing in the water race that irrigated the farm and ran through the garden. Her piece was published.
Later she was asked to write more.
"When I thought about my early life it was very ordinary, nothing exceptional happened and early school days were very hard work indeed. But when I stood back, and wrote about starting school from the point of view of Samantha, a sort of alter ego of myself, the story came alive."
A little while later, more suggestions to write about the early years came along.
"I didn't remember very much about what happened, but I did remember more about the events of living with two big sisters and a brother who were very involved in the local social life. I wrote it down from the point of view of the little sister — 'Samantha's' point of view. We found photos as well as notes I had written, and borrowed the very old album that my nephew has in his keeping, which brought back memories of what was and the day dreams of what might have been."
Looking at it all, Niki realised the collection of notes and parts of stories could be put together to make a modest book, illustrated by family photos.
The result is the entertaining Samantha's Stories, which was recently launched at the Onga Onga Museum complex with a 1950s themed afternoon tea. It's a charming, playful and whimsical read that opens the doors on the memories of a country family with all of their trials and tribulations. At just $20 a copy, it's the ideal stocking filler for grandparents or even younger members of the family, as it's written from the viewpoint of a child.
Meet Niki at the launch, where she will be happy to chat and share stories. She will also be signing books, so make sure you grab a copy to enjoy when you settle down with a good cup of tea. You will be transported back in time with a few laughs along the way.
Following the Christmas Market, you will also be able to dip into the Small Gallery for Pam Wildbore's vibrant exhibition Visual Harmony from Friday, December 10. Music is a huge part of Pam's day when she is creating new work. She has used the audio medium to influence her newest visual creative process, creating abstract versions of a musical note with variations, layered on itself in resin using colour and placement to create an overall visual harmony. Pam has experimented with even bolder and richer colours this time, enticing fun and playful musical memories from carefree times.
CAN is also delighted to be hosting two micro-exhibitions in the foyer for December. Katie Whitcombe's exhibition Through the Seasons is a collection of work made with epoxy resin, quartz crystals, gold leaf, pigment pastes and powders. Katie owns a busy cafe in the heart of Hastings called The Artisan, which she was fortunate enough to design and bring to life after she finished her Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design at EIT. Graduating in 2014, Katie used what she had learned and started playing around with metal sculptures – using recycled tools to add character to the cafe's white walls. Katie also experimented with resin, which she now admits to have fallen in love with. The results are full of colour and movement and priced affordably for that impulse purchase.
Alongside Katie's work, enjoy the new exhibition Off My Easel by Kiri Goodspeed. Born in Christchurch, but Hawke's Bay raised, Kiri is a self-taught artist, specialising in creating realistic moments in time using acrylics on canvas. She is inspired by the colours and forms of nature with a particular interest in painting water.
Locally made art is not stuck in containers on the ocean, it's right here at CAN. Just a reminder to scan in, socially distance and wear a mask while you're here and we hope to see you soon.
• We look forward to welcoming you to CAN, 16 Byron St, on your next visit. Ask us about the benefits of becoming a Friend of CAN, and don't forget we are open seven days per week from Monday to Saturday, 10am-4pm and Sunday, 10am-2pm. As CAN is a registered charity, donations are always welcome. Info: 835-9448, thecan.co.nz or Facebook.