Hawke's Bay Lifesaving is to get a substantial boost thanks to art — and the Rotary Club of Greenmeadows.

The Rotary club has been giving money to community organisations for 38 years. In fact the group has put $900,000 into the community through its Art-X National Exhibition and Sale.

This year they have changed the format somewhat and secured a major sponsor for the next three years.

Rotary Club Greenmeadows chairman Geoff Bennett says this year they had a "grant competition" to decide who they would donate the largest portion of the proceeds from the exhibition and sale to.

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"Hawke's Bay Lifesaving was by far the best entry and the grant will be used throughout the four Bay clubs, Waimarama, Ocean Beach, Westshore and Pacific," Bennett said.

"We are thrilled to be able to help this very important community group and we are also thrilled that Harcourts has agreed to be our major sponsor.

"The Harcourts National Art-X Exhibition and Sale will support Hawke's Bay Lifesaving for the next three years with a grant of at least $20,000 every year.

"That's a substantial boost for the organisation which will use the money for things such as training and replenishing stock such as first aid equipment.

"Harcourts have been so generous with their time and resources and we are so happy to have them onboard along with all our other sponsors."

The Harcourts National Art-X Exhibition and Sale draws artists from across the country.

"We have no shortage of artists willing to provide work.

"There are 180 art works for sale with a minimum floor price of $750 and a maximum of $8000. It's all quality art. The floor price is to ensure each piece is profitable.

"We have to make sure we cover our costs, which include insurance — when you are dealing with close to half a million dollars worth of art you have to ensure you cover your backs.

"We also have rent of the Pan Pac Foyer in the Napier Municipal Theatre, hanging costs, shipping if the art is unsold, and so on.

"The artist get a portion of the sale and we get the rest. We are a charitable trust so everything we make goes back into the community. It's a win-win situation, really. The artists love it as their work is hung for 10 days and gets lots of exposure and we get to donate money to the community.

"It's a great partnership with the arts community that works."

Artist include emerging EIT students. "We are proud of the fact that every year we offer EIT students the opportunity of their first commercial exhibition."

On opening night there will be an action of artwork by local artist Bari Duncan.

Bennett says 60 per cent of the art is sold on the gala opening night. There are still tickets available.

• Harcourts Art-X National Exhibition and Sale, Pan Pac Foyer, Napier Municipal Theatre, June 22-30, 10am to 4pm, free entry.
• Gala Opening June 21 from 6pm. Tickets from nationalartexhibition.co.nz