Arts centre's open day entertaining

Lena Hawthorne (left) and Brooklyn Harrington combine during their stilts performance in Ranfurly...
Lena Hawthorne (left) and Brooklyn Harrington combine during their stilts performance in Ranfurly on Saturday. PHOTO: ADAM BURNS
An array of exhibitions and performance pieces had Ranfurly residents absorbed on Saturday at the Maniototo Arts Centre open day.

The open day included stilt walkers, ballerinas, karate, music and dance performances.

Led by Maniototo Area School pupils Madison Pont and Teariki Tapatu, the first kapa haka group "in many years" in Maniototo also put on a rousing performance for visitors.

Positioned throughout the centre were various workshops and exhibitions from the local garden club, spinners and weavers, card makers, embroidery and floral arrangement demonstrations.

The centre has recently been refurbished, following a fire in 2016.

Having recently relocated to Patearoa from the Mackenzie Country, award-winning artist Julie Grieg offered brief talks and demonstrations of her work.

Ms Grieg has produced 10 paintings in seven weeks.

Wood carver Luke Anthony, of Ranfurly, said he was "chuffed" with the amount of talent the Maniototo had to offer.

"Once upon a time, the arts may have been an alien concept in really rural parts. Not so in this day and age.

"The landscape does resonate with creative people and it can be a muse for some.

"For me, it's one of the best places to preserve wood because of its dry climate."

Maniototo Community Arts Council chairman Amie Pont echoed Mr Anthony's thoughts and said the "geographic location was a big influence".

"A lot of the creative influence bringing people here is where we live."

Ms Pont said there was more "strategic thought" as to where the centre could be positioned within the community.

"It's about celebrating creativity in our community. We're a very active sporting community, so it is really nice to develop the arts here [in Maniototo]."

Ms Pont said she felt the centre is being viewed more as a "community hub" rather than a "strict definition of an arts space".

About $200 was raised throughout the day for further refurbishment of the centre, Ms Pont said.

Ranfurly is also set to host a performance from the Central Otago Regional Orchestra on Saturday April 6.

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