Art Stars exhibition: Young people given confidence to launch art careers

Budding young artist Ella Ward, 19, has started selling her works after Christchurch's Art Stars exhibition gave her the confidence to launch her dream career.

Art Stars is an annual Christchurch exhibition that runs until Saturday at the Hereford to High Street Atrium.

The exhibition is in its third year after launching in 2018 to save student artwork from the skip and provide a platform for future creatives.

“I’m so glad a teacher told us to get [art] out there because last year my works were really successful, and this year they have also been really successful,” said Ward.

She has already sold two of her five exhibition pieces, and has another two in the top 15 to be sold in a blind auction.

The top pieces are judged by an expert panel.

Ella Ward, 19, with her work at the Art Stars exhibition. Photo: Pearl Massie.
Ella Ward, 19, with her work at the Art Stars exhibition. Photo: Pearl Massie.
Inspired by the experience, Ward now sells her own work through her Instagram page - @ellalouise_designs.

Only 98 pieces out of more than 2000 submitted from 24 secondary schools in Canterbury made it to the exhibition.

Ward first featured in the 2019 exhibition, where both of her works were sold.

Christ’s College student Oli Aikawa, 16, entered the exhibition for the first time this year, and sold his piece in the first week.

Oli Aikawa, 16, with ‘COLOURS’. Photo: Pearl Massie
Oli Aikawa, 16, with ‘COLOURS’. Photo: Pearl Massie
Aikawa said it was “really cool” to see his art on display. It made him feel validated in the art world.

“(But) the best part about this is the exposure, getting your art seen” he said.

Sophie Paterson and Charlotte Sherratt launched The Creators Room, a youth development programme to help young Christchurch artists showcase their work and connect with art collectors.

They plan to go national by 2025.

“We identified several barriers for young artists taking their first steps into the commercial art world,” said Sherratt.

Sophie Paterson (left) and Charlotte Sherratt at the Art Stars exhibition. Photo: The Creators Room
Sophie Paterson (left) and Charlotte Sherratt at the Art Stars exhibition. Photo: The Creators Room
She said The Creators Room, a not-for-profit organisation, aims to plug a gap in the art market for affordable, original art.

To date, the pair have managed to provide over $210,000 in financial support. Each year The Creators Room awards a $3000 scholarship to a high school leaver to pursue their artistic career. Annabelle Goodwin was this year's winner.

-By Pearl Massie

 

 

 

 

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