Artists and potters ignite for Art in the Garden

With garden art in the foreground, seated in the Waltons’ garden are John Singleton (left), Ray Walton and Pauline Walton. Photo / Paul Brooks

By Paul Brooks and Pat Townsend
Here we go again: the annual Art in the Garden with Whanganui potters and additional art from River City artists.
It’s a festive weekend to support and sell the work of local potters and artists.
Whanganui Potters Studio will have its fundraising raku firings where you can enamel a piece of bisque-fired pottery. Club members will demonstrate pottery techniques such as wheel throwing and slab building. There will be a bouncy castle, sausage sizzle and refreshments. Free entry. No dogs allowed.

Art in the Garden was started 12 years ago after a group of potters visited the Otaki Potters Art Show and local potter Lou Lilly said, “We can do this.
The first Whanganui Art in the Garden took place in 2011, in Lesley and Vince Keat’s large garden, with a backdrop of views of rolling countryside. It took place for the next seven years.
Initially, there was a sub-committee of six potters who organized the event and encouraged other members to help.

In 2018 and 2019, Art in the Garden moved to Frances Taylor’s property in Papaiti: a pretty, well-kept garden that ran through native bushland to its nursery by the Whanganui River.
In 2020 the event was moved to Kath Barrett’s property of Beautiful Trees. This will be the third time that Art in the Garden has been held there, at 38 Paul’s Road, Whanganui.
The idea was to invite other artisans to participate and it turned out to be very successful. Garden furniture, steel art, plants and any crafts that could tolerate different weather conditions were welcome.

The event evolved, with a bouncy castle, sausage sizzle, morning and afternoon teas, pottery and other craft demonstrations. Raku has always been a popular attraction.
Participants are invited to bring their pieces the Friday before the event, to the venue, to mount them and to drop them off. Each piece is labeled (weatherproof), with number, ID and price.

Last year and again this year, artists from River City participated and their paintings are displayed in the barn sheltered from the weather. It’s just called Art in the Barn.
Some of the potters, like John Singleton (Singo) also produce two-dimensional art, so they will have artwork on display in the barn as well as in the garden.
“We have a guy who makes garden furniture out of driftwood and old branches that still have lichen on them,” says John. He says the furniture looks rustic as soon as it’s set up in the garden.

The details
What: Art in the garden
When: Saturday and Sunday November 12 and 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.
Where: 38 Pauls Rd, Whanganui East.

This is a Public Interest Journalism funded role through NZ On Air



Dora W. Clawson