Renata Szarvas will experience Artists Open Studios in a completely different way this year.

Ms Szarvas' business, Renata's Art and Framing, regularly hosts artists for Open Studios. This year, Ms Szarvas will exhibit her own work, along with that of her partner, Matt Dutton.

Open Studios is an annual event in which Whanganui artists open their studios and galleries to the public. This year the event will be held March 12-13 and 19-20, with around 65 studios and galleries taking part.

Ms Szarvas makes mixed media works out of found objects.


"I like using things that already had a purpose and might have been thrown away," she said.

"As a framer, I am fascinated by how an entire life story can be compressed into one image. And that's what I like in working with old objects or old books - you can start to tell a whole different story."

She's been working on her art for many years, but it was a joint exhibition at her shop two years ago that encouraged her to step up her art practice.

All her artworks at that exhibition were sold.

"I'm not just mucking around, I'm now working with a purpose," Ms Szarvas said.

Mr Dutton is also formally taking part in Open Studios for the first time. Known as a painter, he will include some more unusual works in his Open Studios exhibition, such as photocopied sketches onto plywood.

"I will be showing a range of work from the last 10 years, with emphasis on more recent work.

"The last year has been quite interesting for me because I've just finished the first series of abstract works I've done in a very long time. I've also done some woodcut prints and I will probably show a few of those."

Mr Dutton's exhibition will also include his more well-known street scenes. Nearly all his painting work is done with a palette knife.