Young students who attend classes at the Art House in Whanganui's London St became aficionados last week.

The children visited the exhibition of work by Ropiha Paul Bevan currently showing at Cooks Gallery in Trafalgar Place.

"We are looking for things in the paintings and writing down what we find," said 8-year-old Amelia Kirk.

Bevan donates most of his work to the Wanganui Art Society which runs Cooks Gallery and the works on show are from the collection along with a few recent works.


He is also a supporter of young artists and, for the past six years, has provided a scholarship for an emerging talent to hold an exhibition.

"There are many artists in my family and I like to encourage young artists because we want to ensure that they have the confidence to continue producing work when they become adults."

Bevan's works in the current exhibition are mostly acrylic paintings, some oils and a few pottery pieces but the one attracting the children's attention is rendered in felt pens.

The Art House visitors were fascinated by the depiction of a room filled with ornate furniture items and the "surprises" they found in the picture.

"It was inspired by a book on antique furniture and I put a lot of the pieces into one picture along with some birds and a dog," said Bevan.

Art House tutor Rei Hendry said it was a good exercise for her students to meet Bevan and learn about how he works.

"They have all made lists of things to look for in his work and they are encouraged to ask him questions as well."

As well as taking after-school and holiday classes at the Art House, Hendry teaches at James Cook School in Marton and creates her own art as a member of Wanganui Arts Society.

The exhibition of Bevan's work is on show at Cooks Gallery for six weeks.