Raglan is gearing up to be the place to be over Labour Weekend with the highly anticipated Raglan Arts Weekend, now in its 11th year, ready to wow visitors.
The 35 registered artists have been hard at work over lockdown and beyond, and many of them will not only be showcasing new artworks, but also new techniques, borne out of a long period of being shut away from many distractions.
Take internationally acclaimed artist Sam Mathers, whose lockdown journey has resulted in a collection that’s a marked step away from his signature nautical style. It incorporates layers of new elements and free expression where Sam has “let loose”, as he describes it.
Then there’s Jane Galloway and Claudia Grutke, both having completed the Art2life Creative Visionary Program run by Californian artist Nicholas Wilton. Both have been experimenting with mixed media collage, and for Jane – a more abstract style than her familiar detailed realist paintings.
“I’m finding that people are keen to get their hands on a lockdown inspired artwork as a physical snapshot of a very difficult time in the world,” says another RAW favourite, Toni Kingstone, who has sold a number of new artworks since RAW’s Easter event was postponed. Her favourite tool has been a palette knife to create marbled effects and complex colour combinations in her new fluid acrylic and resin work.
Nine new artists have joined the trail this year, and visitors will also be spoilt for choice with a diverse and engaging range of media including stone sculpture, metal work, airbrushing, mosaic art, steel forgery, surfboard carving, ceramics, taxidermy, wood furniture, fine jewellery, digital fine art, painting and photography.
“It’s a self-discovery trail with approximately half of the artist studios accessible by foot within the main township,” says Nicky Brzeska, RAW Co-ordinator. “The remaining studios are mostly in clusters a stone’s throw away so it’s very possible to see the majority of our talent over the 3 days,” she says.
Raglan Shuttle will be running a ticketed shuttle from town centre to the Wharf where you can visit Tony Sly, and see Rick Youmans in action with live painting of semi abstract emotive watercolour and ink paintings of the Raglan coast. They will also be running a daily shuttle tour to visit the RAW artist studios, East on Saturday and West on Sunday.
Visitors are encouraged to pick up a trail map from the Old School Arts Centre, and check out the ‘Talking about Climate Change’ Preview Exhibition, open week days 10am until 2pm until the end of RAW.