by Brenda Vowden
Harcourts Artex National Exhibition and Sale is riding a post-Covid wave with this year's return of the Greenmeadows Rotary Club's major fundraiser.
Six paddles painted by local artists — Josh Lancaster, Nick Hayter, Bari Duncan, Chris Bone, Esther Smith and Michael Blow — will be up for auction at the opening night soiree, which kicks off the three-day event. This year proceeds are being donated to the four local surf lifesaving clubs in Hawke's Bay.
The Friday night ticketed soiree is an event not to be missed, says event manager Bex Tacon.
"Those coming to the soiree will get first dibs on purchasing art. If they don't come to the soiree they can come in over the weekend."
Tickets include bubbles on arrival, complimentary wine and beer, canapés by Dish Catering, live music by jazz singer Lady Larissa and live auction of the wooden paddles.
Bex says the Harcourts Artex event is not just a fundraiser, it is culturally significant.
"It is an opportunity for art lovers to see a diverse collection of paintings, all in one place, featuring the work of top artists from all over New Zealand and all for sale."
The event runs from Friday, June 18, through to Sunday, June 20, which gives artists "significant exposure and encouragement".
"It also gives the public ample time to enjoy this cultural enrichment."
Entry for the public over the weekend is by koha.
Founded in 1982, Harcourts Artex National Exhibition and Sale has gifted more than $900,000 back to the Hawke's Bay community, raised from the sale of art.
This year around 200 pieces of art from more than 70 artists are being exhibited — all work is for sale. Prices are determined by each artist and start at $750. Works include paintings, photography and sculptures and are of a high calibre, Bex says.
Organisers have taken pride in the fact that the Harcourts Artex event has helped launch the career of many emerging artists.
"For many years we have invited at least three artists from EIT's Faculty of Art and Design to exhibit.
■ The Details:
What: Harcourts Artex National Exhibition and Sale
When: Friday, June 18, opening night soiree, 6pm-10pm. Public entry Saturday, June 19, 9am-5pm and Sunday, June 20, 9am-3pm.
Where: Napier War Memorial and Conference Centre, Marine Pde, Napier
Info: Friday opening night soiree, tickets $95, visit nationalartexhibition.co.nz/auction/. Saturday and Sunday open to the public, admission by koha.