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The doors opened and the people flocked into the 45th Annual Riversdale Arts Exhibition Gala Opening night held on Friday.
More than 165 people were there to see an amazing selection of art on display from artists throughout New Zealand.
The installation created by Dunedin artist Janet de Wagt and Gore cake artist Jude Taylor was comprised of a bright blue 1976 Mazda B1600 farm truck, local landscapes and packaged artworks covered in past exhibition posters to represent the 45 exhibitions.
An afternoon tea created entirely of fondant icing was watched over by the ever trustworthy and loyal farm dog also created from fondant icing on the deck of the truck, was created to celebrate the past of the Riversdale community and the hard work of generations of women in sustaining those who work the land.
The 2018 Emerging Artist Award winner was announced as Ruth Crouchley, of Te Anau, with her painting “The Legend of the Lake”.
Judges Jim and Marcella Geddes said “this beautifully executed painting embraced a legend that has its genesis not too far from here – at Lake Te Anau. Not only does it reflect a key Southland story but there are sufficient nuances within the painting to present the exhibition visitor with a range of cultural viewpoints and story possibilities.
They also made a special mention of Queenstown artist Mika Turnbull’s very impressive still Life “Café Culture”.
Ruth takes away not only the title of Riversdale Arts Emerging Artist but a prize of $1000.
Gore artist Diane Young carried off a trifecta winning the best local artist for three years running with her painting titled “Piano Flat”.
Saturday evening’s Edible Artistry wine and cheese event “Have your Cake and Eat it Too” was also very successful– with 3 extreme Cakes and 3 edible cakes snapped up at the auction. Speaker Dennis Kirkpatrick of Roxburgh was an entertaining speaker who kept the crowd enthralled with his story of how the Jimmys Pies empire was created.
Riversdale Arts Mixed Media Exhibition is open 11am to 5pm daily until 29th July, with a late night on Wednesday 25th until 7pm. Entry tickets are available at the door. It offers a perfect opportunity to view and purchase a wide range of artworks from talented local and New Zealand artists.
- Jann Robertson