With just two weeks to the opening of the 14th annual Waimarino Art Awards in Raetihi, organiser Paula Charlton has been called to the bedside of her dying mum in Scotland.

Ms Charlton said yesterday that when hospice staff told her a few days ago to return home to Helensborough (near Glasgow) to see her mum, Margaret Clarke, "sooner rather than later" it was imperative to go.

"And everyone has been wonderful. I called a community meeting and so many people turned up to help me and take over the reins of the Art Awards it was amazing. I am thrilled because I don't think I'll be back in time now."

New people on the team include her husband, Jacob Fah, and son McKenzie, 14, and Ruapehu College Arts Teacher Anne Stuckey and others from the community.


"I'm taking our daughter Sydney, 8, with me. I will be doing the admin on the entries coming through for the catalogue so I really hope people will email their entries through."

To date it's been the usual nerve-wracking situation, with just 30 entries in from Whanganui, Raetihi, Ohakune and one from Taumarunui, she said.

"This happens most years but we always end up with more than 200 entries," she said.

This year the team decided to expand the venues from the Royal Theatre Raetihi to the Barbed Wire Gallery and the old BNZ building.

As well as exhibitions of original art and photography, there will also be the Great Ruapehu Recycling Competition.

"We want people to make a sculpture out of recycled stuff, and their sculptures will be set up in Seddon St during the awards."

Because the children's photographic section has been hugely popular it has now been split it into primary and secondary school sections, she said.

"And we've been told to expect 100 entries from Raetihi Primary School."


There is also the general photography which has two themes, Day and Night, and Layers.

Judging the art awards will be Taupo Museum art curator Kerence Stephen. Photography will be judged by Mark Hamilton, a professional photographer from Waikato.

Entries must be in by next Tuesday, June 20, and work presented by Saturday, June 24.

The awards are announced on Tuesday, July 4, while the exhibition will run from July 5 to July 15.