When Val Donkervoort moved to Whanganui, the keen artist couldn't find an arts group that suited - so she set up her own.

Thus began River City Artists, a group for artists that has been running for the past six months.

"I moved to Whanganui because I knew it had an arts community. But I couldn't find a group that suited me. I wanted somewhere where I could paint all day, that was light and airy, and had plenty of parking," Mrs Donkervoort said.

The River City Artists meet in the community hall at Christ Church in Wicksteed St every Thursday from 9.30am to 4pm. It's a fairly relaxed group that sees people coming and going all day.

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"People can paint all day if they want, or they can stay for part of the day. We provide tea and coffee. We have lots of laughs - it's a really good social event," Mrs Donkervoort said.

Once a month the group has a social outing - they've so far been to Dudding Lake and Duncan Pavilion to paint, and they've visited art galleries in Palmerston North. Paid-up members also receive a monthly newsletter.

Members of the River City Artists group. PHOTOS STUART MUNRO
Members of the River City Artists group. PHOTOS STUART MUNRO

Members draw or paint in a wide range of mediums, and range from complete newbies to award-winning experienced artists.

"Everyone always helps each other," she said.

Membership is growing so fast that Mrs Donkervoort thinks the group will soon need a new venue.

If you are interested in joining the River City Artists please contact Mrs Donkervoort on 027-4599448.