Fans of Pacific art will have a rare opportunity to bid on the life's work of Kerikeri artist Valerie Hunton at an auction later this month, with all proceeds going to the Cancer Society.
The Elam School of Fine Arts graduate, art teacher, author and former artist in residence at the Fiji School of Medicine has donated the art she produced while living in Micronesia, Melanesia and parts of Polynesia with her husband Rex, a surgeon who taught medical students.
Her work was inspired by the women she met during the couple's 14 years in the region, including vibrant mixed-media pieces and many that incorporate traditional weaving. She has exhibited at the University of Hawaii, the ISLA Centre for the Arts in Guam, the Pacific Festival of Arts in Samoa, and in Fiji's Suva Museum.
It was her personal experience of cancer, and her awareness of the support available through the Cancer Society, that prompted her to donate such a large collection to charity.
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"I wanted to gift the art now, while I can see the works go out and find their place in the world," she said.
Cancer Society Northland manager Jenni Moore said the charity was "incredibly grateful" to have been gifted the majority of Hunton's collection, some of which would be exhibited at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri over April 22-24.
"This is not only a wonderful opportunity for people to bid on these special works, but the funds raised will directly benefit people facing cancer in our Northland community," she said.
The artworks, and an additional selection of Pacific artefacts from the Huntons' personal collection, will be sold via silent auction. The exhibition is sponsored by accounting firm BDO, so that all proceeds will go to Cancer Society Auckland Northland.
The exhibition, 'The art of Valerie Hunton – a Pacific journey,' opens on April 22 (5:30pm - 7:30pm) - Hunton will be there to tell some of the stories of her work - continuing on April 23 (10am - 4pm) and April 24 (10am - 1pm).