Collaboration . . . Artists Debbie Price-Ewen (left) and Colette O'Kane joined forces to showcase their artwork for the Meet the Maker tour. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Waitaki artists gained invaluable exposure with an “amazing” Meet the Maker pilot event, one of its creators says.

Helen Riley-Duddin, together with the Moa Bakery, Cakery’s Jane Thompson, organised the tour of 10 creative spaces in Oamaru, Kakanui and Waianakarua earlier this month.

“We had the most incredible feedback from both people who went on the tour and all the artists who were involved,” Mrs Riley-Duddin said.

The event was run as a fundraiser for Fenwick School, and was partly funded by the Waitaki District Council, with business attraction recovery manager Melanie Jones also an integral part of the planning.

More than 100 tickets were sold for the event, which was planned and executed within six weeks.

“For most of these artists, to have over 100 people visit your space – you know, people who are dedicated, interested art buyers – it’s pretty amazing,” Mrs Riley-Duddin said.

Although there were good sales made on the day, that was not the sole objective of the event.

“It’s more about awareness, knowing that they’re there and knowing about their work. On that front alone, it was a huge success.”

Since the event, many of the artists and creators have had follow-up interest in their work and more was expected between now and Christmas, and over the coming year.

“There’ll be more and more work for them that comes from it, which is pretty incredible.”

There was definitely scope for the event to grow, and the possibility to include more artists and any kind of creative business, and make it into a weekend or week-long event, she said.

“You know there’s creative fibre groups and things like that, they could all be open. The high schools could all be open and, you know, showcase the student work. And there could be talks and demonstrations. There could be so much.”

Mrs Riley-Duddin said support came from the council and Tourism Waitaki because they were interested in showcasing the creative community and building economic development.

“The council doesn’t normally support a school fundraiser. The council’s interest was purely about raising the profile of local creatives, that sort of thing.”

Although this event was a fundraiser for Fenwick School, that would not always be the case, she said.

“The school interest in it was purely just because we felt like we needed to ticket the event to get a gauge of numbers and things. And we felt like those funds should go to a neutral organisation, rather than one key business.”

People who took part in the Meet the Maker day were asked to fill out a survey online, to provide feedback and help make the event bigger and better for next time. To do the survey, visit affiliate linkUpcoming 2020 Nike Dunk Release Dates