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Art on show at Mahia2020

Artists from Otaki to Tolaga Bay bring their work to a new exhibition showing this weekend at Mokotahi Hall.

Mahia2020 is a two-day show that has been a year in the making.

The organisers all have ties to Wairoa and say the show is for emerging and established artists, including students from Wairoa College and artists who have never exhibited before, as well as artists from further afield.

A year ago the creative trio Wendy Whitehead, Jan McKenzie and Mauroa Laird saw a need for a mixed media art show that embraced artists at the beginning of their journey and those who just needed some encouragement to show their work.

“We saw an opportunity for people to see a wider pool of artists for a long weekend event either at Labour Weekend or Easter.

“The majority of the artists have not shown in Mahia before.”

Some of the artwork is based on materials found and gathered from the beach. Other art lined up for Mahia2020 includes jewellery — metal, pounamu and ceramic, sculpture, felting, glassware and pottery, copper artwork, prints and paintings.

Napier-based Wendy Whitehead has also lived in Mahia-Wairoa and she said they had Otaki gallery Toi Matarau sending work and they had artists from Gisborne, Chatham Islands and Palmerston North keen to send their work.

All three used their networks to find artists of interest and work began in earnest after lockdown ended in May.

“It has grown from our connections and snowballed.

“Artists want as many opportunities as possible to exhibit their works and any chance to sell their creations.”

All artworks will be for sale with the exception of the display of work by Wairoa College Art students.

Friday will see Mokotahi Hall transformed into a gallery space for Mahia2020.

Mauroa Laird said they had a fantastic meeting in January nutting out the bones of the exhibition, what they wanted to do and how they were going to get there.

Nuhaka artist Jan McKenzie said Wairoa District Council came on board helping to make the exhibition happen.

They are looking forward to seeing some of the artists at Mokotahi for the powhiri on Saturday morning at 10am along with visitors and locals throughout the weekend. — Wairoa Star

Mahia2020 opens on Saturday at 10am until 4pm and again on Sunday. Entry by koha.

Creative trio: The organisers for the inaugural art show, Mahia2020, at Mokotahi Hall this weekend are, from left Jan McKenzie, Mauroa Laird and Wendy Whitehead.