Red sold stickers began popping up on artwork just minutes after selling began at Friday night's opening of the Dannevirke Art Society's 55th exhibition.
"People appreciate the real skill of the work exhibited," Mike Harold, president of the society said. "We've people in our group who are at all stages of their artistic journey and it's always our aim to exhibit as many people's works as possible and as artists we love to know what the public think."
And if the early sales are any indication, the public are keen to have local art works in their homes, although Tararua District Mayor Roly Ellis admitted he has very little wall space left.
"There is amazing art here, but I'm not sure my cheque book will come out this time because I haven't room left, but there's art here for everyone."
Mr Ellis said his wife Phillipa was likely to join the art society when she retired, but he doesn't believe he has the talent. "I won piano lessons at a church dinner once, but after four lessons the tutor said we should give up."
However, Mr Harold said art is a wonderful hobby and can be a great distraction.
"People are generous in sharing their skills and knowledge," he said.
Judge Stuart Schwartz, managing director of Taylor Jensen Fine Arts, has been a part of Palmerston North's artistic landscape for 18 years, but said he'd had a difficult job deciding on the winners in the two main categories, with their theme of buildings old and new. "In the Dannevirke News Rosebowl section ... the winning work by Janet Last spoke to me. It's stark realism at its best. There's an emotive quality you get from looking at an old building."
Janet's work depicted the hanger at the Dannevirke Aerodrome, built in 1964.
"They're now building new clubrooms over the top of the old and every weekend both my sons have worked on the project," she said.
Diane Clayton, the winner of the Heather Foote Trophy for artists with less than four years experience, took her inspiration from further afield.
"I found this scene in Sydney. When I saw the cityscape behind this old street it was the ideal buildings old and new," she said. This is the second year Diane has won the trophy, which was presented by Ken Foote.
"It's a great honour to some to this exhibition every year," he said. "It keeps my mum's memory alive. She took up art later in life and like us, people should treasure the artwork of loved ones because it's there forever."
"Judging was more difficult this year," said Mr Schwartz, "and I thought the Heather Foote category, with just three paintings, would be easy, but it was tough. The winner, Diane Clayton, has handled things very well and I also could have picked a dozen best in show, not the two."
Best in show merit awards went to Chris Bone and Ann Berry.
-The exhibition opens daily until this Sunday, October 18, at the Home Industries Hall at the A&P Showgrounds. Entry is free.