It may not have that celebrity X factor that made headlines around the country last year, but Whangārei's Quarry Arts Centre expects its annual fundraiser The Great Plate to get plenty of attention.

The Great Plate exhibition opens at the Quarry Arts Centre tonight and runs for two weeks. Almost 100 artists have plates on display for sale, with the profits going to the centre.

Last year's The Great Plate featured a work by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The drawing named The Political Cycle sold for $2000 and helped the arts centre trust raise more than $18,000, the highest total in its then 10-year history.

Although there isn't quite that star factor this year, Quarry Arts Centre manager Sally Lush said with close to 100 artists taking part, it promises to be a stunning event, as always.

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Every year established and emerging artists from around the country donate plates to the Whangārei-based art and craft organisation that supports art and artists.

The Quarry Arts Centre holds an exhibition of the plates in the Yvonne Rust Gallery and puts them all up for auction on Trade Me.

The plates come in all shapes, sizes and materials - wood, metal, ceramic and mixed media, they may have been hand-sculpted, thrown on a pottery wheel, painted on, glazed, woven or collaged.

"With such a broad range of artists and so few limitations of what can be done with a plate form there can be unpredictable and exciting results. The variation and imagination served up on the humble plate is truly impressive and the whole team at The Quarry love seeing the plates as they come in," Lush said.

"The mission of the Quarry Arts Centre is to nurture the creative spirit of Northland and the facility is dedicated to the pursuit, development and display of creative practice. The funds raised by this event go toward the running costs of our ever-growing community arts centre.''

Great Plates can be viewed in the Yvonne Rust Gallery at the Quarry Arts Centre, Selwyn Ave, until July 27, with the Trade Me auctions live from 5.30pm tonight with the auctions closing at staggered times on July 27.

People can bid online at www.trade.me/greatplate or for further information, call (09) 438 1215 or visit www.quarryarts.org