AUT art sale celebrates 8th year

BY Anuja Nadkarni


Art enthusiasts gathered to view and shop for original pieces by Kiwi artists at the eighth annual AUT Original Art Sale last weekend.

Featuring work from more than 300 New Zealand artists, the three-day event attracted hundreds of people, starting with a gala night on May 14 at the Vodafone Events Centre.

The exhibition, touted as one of Auckland’s largest art markets, was laid out in a supermarket format, which enabled people to shop for artwork “off the rack”, Art Sale manager Sherrin White said.

“Since it’s [the artwork] constantly changing it confuses some people because they have a walk about and when they come back the piece is gone. You’ve got to be quick!”

Mrs White has been part of the event since it began in 2007 and says it has grown with every passing year.

The event seems to have become a platform for artists to experiment with their creativity, she said.

“It’s always exciting. Some artists do things one year and the next year you think they haven’t entered anything, but you find out that actually they’ve done something totally different.”

According to the event’s website there were more than 1200 entries from various artists, including students from AUT and several secondary schools.

At the gala night, 17-year-old Katherine Yang from Academic Colleges Group (ACG) won first prize for her piece Hysteria.

The self-taught artist said her artwork was a critique of “female hysteria” that she said was once used by doctors to diagnose any physical and mental deviances in behaviour by women.

Miss Yang said this was the first time she participated in the event and was “fascinated” by the supermarket concept.

“Art has no tangible value apart from the wood, the paint, the time – they’re pure purchases of pleasure.”

Another self-taught artist who showcased her work was Valerie Subritzky, who paints under the pseudonym Valenzky.

Ms Subritzky said the concept of the art sale is a great way for buyers to see multiple pieces by artists.

“It’s fantastic! You also get criticised but I don’t mind – at least people are talking about it.”

All artwork, created with a range of media including mixed media, was by emerging Kiwi artists and ranged in price from $100 to $5,000.