Plans for the Whanganui Visual Arts Forum (WVAST) were unveiled before a gathering at the Whanganui Arts Forum meeting on Wednesday night.

Lee Williams, Marie Grice, Alys Davidson and Helen Marie O'Connell announced the names of 10 guest artists who have confirmed their participation in the October symposium.

Former Whanganui artist Julie Greig, now residing at Burkes Pass in the Mackenzie Country, has confirmed a masterclass for the symposium.

"We have a number of visiting artists who will bring participants with them and they plan to extend their stays in Whanganui," said Lee Williams.


"Our Website is live and bookings are also live."

Around 150 people gathered for the arts forum meeting held at the Pioneer Room at the Whanganui War Memorial.

Councillor Helen Craig facilitated the meeting which introduced new fulltime Whanganui District Council Arts Facilitator Riah King-Wall.

Ms King Wall said she had only been in the job for three days after leaving her role as programmes officer at the Whanganui Regional Museum.

"I don't have much to report yet but I am looking forward to hearing from everyone to develop polices and strategies," she said. "What I do will be formed by what you do and what you want to do."

The forum also heard from Russell Bell, of Balance Chartered Accountants, with an update on the public art strategy for Whanganui.

Mr Bell hoped to see strategy turned into action with a workshop including representatives from a range of arts to set a realistic course of action.

NZ Glassworks manager Scott Redding reported that the Chronicle Glass studio has been busy since opening last September.

"We have had a steady influx of visitors coming to workshops including an 86-year-old who came with her 82-year-old sister to tick it off her bucket list," he said.

Whanganui Creative Communities co-ordinator Cath Watson told the audience how they could seek funding for projects and what the parameters are.

She was followed by Whanganui Venues and Events manager Tasha Parker who is based at Cooks Gardens where Ms Riah King Wall will also make her new home.

There were several "shout-outs" at the end of the forum including one from Leslie Stead, of the Guyton Group Trust, who said that $17,000 has been raised towards the planned bronze sculpture of James K. Baxter.

"We still have a way to go and donations can be made at Paiges Book Gallery," she said.

Mrs Craig said it was great to see such a good gathering on a cold night and she hopes there will be an ever better turnout for the next forum meeting in October.