Santa the icing on the cake at Christmas arts exhibition

Organisers of Raglan’s Spirit of Christmas exhibition are going the extra distance this year to ensure there’s something for everyone – with a big name from out of town set to drop by on the middle weekend of the two-week show.

Santa’s visit from the North Pole on Saturday week will give parents the opportunity to take a photo of their youngsters with the man in red while doing a spot of Christmas shopping themselves, says exhibition co-ordinator Susanne Giessen-Prinz.

This will be the seventh annual staging of an exhibition which last year netted a record $9000-plus in sales.

This is money which “stayed” in the community, Susanne points out. She’s proud that money which might otherwise have been spent at the likes of The Base in Te Rapa has instead been retained locally.

Much of this funding is poured back into the Old School Arts Centre’s new two-storey clayshed-cum-creative space, which is now awaiting final sign-off. The clayshed’s 18 artists also get some recompense for their donated works.    

Everything on display at the Old School Arts Centre for the fortnight starting this Saturday is locally produced and plastic-free, Susanne emphasises. “And every year more new artists and ‘crafty’ Raglanites get involved,” she adds.

The artworks include pottery, plants, candles, jewellery, multimedia creations and edible goodies, all priced between  $5 and $500. Suzanne’s message to Raglan residents is to “come along and be surprised at how creative and quirky our awesome arts and crafts community is”.

For the third consecutive year orders will also be taken for the homemade Christmas cakes baked in Bing Ceramics’ unique clay pots, Susanne says, adding it’s a gift that’s useful long after the cake is eaten.

The cakes, made with good quality ingredients and to a well-trialled local recipe, are being produced this year out of the Raglan Artisan Bread bakery in Electric Ave.

Suzanne says that besides providing people with a great opportunity to continue supporting the new build at the arts centre, the cakes and pots make beautiful gifts ideal for those “tricky people you just don’t know what to buy”.

*The Spirit of Christmas exhibition runs at the Old School in Stewart St from Saturday Nov 28 to Dec 12, opening daily 10am-4pm. Santa will drop in on Saturday December 5, 11am-1pm.