Quirky Fox Gallery owner Vicki Fox said it's hard to believe she is flat-out mounting an exhibition for the gallery's fourth birthday.

The former librarian said the time had rushed by so fast since she first took the plunge and opened her eclectic small gallery in Hawera's High Street.

Over the past six months she has been curating the birthday exhibition titled Jokers Wildshowcasing the work of 26 different artists from various parts of the world.

The exhibition represents a range of styles from botanical through to street artists, she said.


" Each artist has completed between one and four works on oversized playing cards."
Last year Vicki sent each artist a set of four cards, each set consisting of a number or picture card but every suit.

WHAT A CARD: The Queen of Hearts is used for Rabbit Land Free by Kyoko Imazu.
WHAT A CARD: The Queen of Hearts is used for Rabbit Land Free by Kyoko Imazu.

For example Australian artist Kyoko Imazu was sent the Queen of Diamonds, Spades, Hearts and Clubs.

"The artists had free range to create whatever they felt like, using as many cards as they desired."

The resulting exhibition showcases more than 80 original pieces of art, Vicki said.

And adding an extra twist to the exhibition, each artist was chosen to represent a letter of the alphabet based on their last name, Vicki said.

"Finding an artist with a surname starting with 'F' (Emma Frost) was easy but some of the letters proved more difficult and not always the letters you expect."

But too much time on the internet, several emails and a notebook full of scribbles later, Vicki has put together an exhibition featuring 20 New Zealand artists and six international artists.

Also included in the exhibition are Quirky Fox regulars such as Wellington artist Rachel Walker as well as a host of new artists: emerging Finnish artist Jenni Viljaniemi, top European street artist Zabou (recently featured in the UK Marie Claire as an artist on the rise), and awarding winning artist Nick Eccleston, Vicki said.

Joker's Wild opens next week Tuesday July, 19 at Quirky Fox, High Street Hawera and will run until mid August. The exhibition can also be viewed online at www.quirkyfox.co.nz.