There's usually art on display in the storefront window of Whanau Manaaki Kindergarten Association in Victoria Ave, but the latest batch has been especially chosen for Artists Open Studios.
"There are 19 frames out there [in the window]," says Whanau Manaaki administrator, Karen Craig. "Most of the kindergartens contributed pictures and these guys have the unenviable task of choosing the 19 that are going to go out there."
"These guys" are working artists Lesley Stead, Mike Marsh and Lysha Brennan, all invited by Karen to curate the new exhibition which will hang in the double window.
The variety of work was impressive and the three artists were generous with their praise of the art.
"I think with kindergarten kids it's all intuition," says Mike, "And there's no expectation of what they should achieve." He believes that gives a freshness to the work.
Before long the art was divided into piles with the shortlisted art an accurate representation of the larger number. Surprisingly, the three were in agreement with most of the choices.
All three artists are exhibiting in Artists Open Studios. Lesley has Lockett Gallery next door to her bookshop, Paige's Book Gallery; Lysha will have work on display at her studio at 38 Springvale Rd; and Mike has art in various locations and he is also one of the artists participating in Whanganui Walls.
"I'm doing 142 Guyton St, which is the side of the old fashion school," he says. It is now the home of Nga Tai o te Awa, a Maori Health and Development agency. Each Whanganui Walls artist has been given a wall to paint. "It's five metres wide by six metres tall ... quite a good sized wall."
All three artists have been involved with kindergartens at some time in their lives and Lysha, who is a primary school teacher, has a daughter who teaches at Putiki Kindergarten.
In choosing the 19 pieces of art, they freely used words and phrases like cheerful, spontaneous, contrast of colour, robotic, development, variety of tools used, different styles, mixed media, gorgeous and much more.
It was not long ago that Wanganui Kindergarten Association became absorbed by Wellington-based Whanau Manaaki, so this exhibition is a way to show they're still part of the local community, says Karen.
Lesley was impressed that they chose to be part of Artists Open Studios and Mike saw the possibility of it continuing and growing each year.
All 19 paintings (including one mixed media work) will hang in the window during the two weekends of Artists Open Studios.