Our annual exhibition, Splash 2018, closed two days ago. Once again it was held in conjunction with the Wellington Potters’ Association. The combination of watercolours and ceramics worked well and attracted a lot of interest: 3,333 people visited the show over its 16 day season.
I’d like to pay tribute to the committee and volunteers who helped with all aspects of the exhibition. Mounting a show of this size, which featured more than 300 paintings by 120 artists from Whangarei to Invercargill, takes a tremendous amount of organisation and effort.
Some first-time helpers commented that they never realised the amount of work involved, particularly with regard to layout and hanging.
However, you can’t please everybody. One vociferous visitor demanded to know who had done the layout. She didn’t agree with the way the paintings were grouped by theme and colour. “If I’d had a painting in the exhibition”, she exclaimed, “I wouldn’t want it
hung alongside similar paintings.” When asked how she thought the exhibition should have been laid out her comment was “I don’t know, but it didn’t work for me.”
Fortunately it did appear to work for the vast majority of visitors, who were full of praise for the quality and variety of the works on show (and, incidentally, the way the paintings were displayed). We had the second highest number of paintings sold at any Splash
exhibition (66) and the third highest sales by value – a very good result at a time when by all accounts the art market is difficult.
Our new section for small paintings, a suggestion from our patron Adrienne Pavelka, generated a lot of interest. However, working out whether the area of their paintings was within the limits allowed proved too challenging for some!
The number of entries in the Junior Section was down this year - the timing of the exhibition coincided with NCEA exams. Once again these paintings proved popular, five out of six of them finding buyers.
Of course we have to sell paintings to cover costs but the most important thing is the quality of the works on show and the pleasure they give to viewers. In this respect Splash 2018 was a great success, as evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive response from the public.
This edition of the newsletter is dedicated to showcasing Splash 2018, particularly for those of you who live outside of Wellington and weren’t able to make it to the show. We’d encourage you to try to get there next year. Our national watercolour exhibition is truly one of the highlights of the Wellington visual arts calendar.