Art for children's sake

Emma Smith (17, left) and Hannah Stevenson (18) assess the artistic merits of artworks on display at the children-only Muka Print exhibition at the Forrester Art Gallery. Photo by Andrew Ashton.
Emma Smith (17, left) and Hannah Stevenson (18) assess the artistic merits of artworks on display at the children-only Muka Print exhibition at the Forrester Art Gallery. Photo by Andrew Ashton.

For one day only this week, it was a case of "no adults allowed" at the Forrester Art Gallery in Oamaru as children were given the opportunity to buy artworks created by some of the world's top artists - out of sight of their parents.

The Muka Prints exhibition has 40 lithograph prints created by artists from New Zealand, Asia and Europe on display, but only children aged between 5 and 18 were allowed to buy items from the exhibition, gallery director Warwick Smith said.

Works from "a whole raft of significant artists" were available for children to buy at the uniform price of $65, Mr Smith said.

"It is an opportunity for young people to purchase work that they like. Names of the artists are covered up - we want children to buy art because they like it, so they can start a collection that is their collection, not their parents'. It's an absolutely unique exhibition to New Zealand."

Parents and caregivers were allowed into the gallery, but were not allowed to accompany children into the exhibition room, he said.

"They have to wait outside the door."

It was the 24th year the Muka Prints exhibition had come to Oamaru, he said.