Forrester showcases children’s works

Three-dimensional . . . Forrester Gallery engagement and education officer Elizabeth King admires the masks made by Oamaru Intermediate School pupils that adorn the gallery as part of this year's Burns Memorial Exhibition. PHOTO: ASHLEY SMYTH

The art of children throughout the Waitaki once again adorns the walls of the Forrester Gallery.

The annual Burns Memorial Exhibition opens at the gallery tomorrow , and is the most popular exhibition of the year.

Forrester Gallery director Chloe Searle said the exhibition drew in children, parents, grandparents and other members of the public, who came to appreciate the art and complete some of the activities.

‘‘I want to thank all the students and their teachers for their hard mahi putting together the artwork for the exhibition.

‘‘Thank you as well to the Friends of the Forrester for their support with getting works in, funding buses and returning works at the end of the exhibition.’’

Former Weston School teacher and art lover Jenny Kitchin was invited to judge last year’s works and select one that could be used on all the gallery’s promotion while the Burns exhibition was on, Ms Searle said.

That included the new flag flying from the top of the historic building. ‘‘It is great to be using the flagpole which was funded by a bequest from Beryl Laraman.’’ Visitors were encouraged to take part in the Burns Imaginary Creatures Scavenger Hunt and activity. It was based on the surrealist parlour game The Exquisite Corpse, involving drawing body parts as they explored the gallery and took inspiration from the work on display.

Using recycled materials at the ‘‘creation station’’, they cold make their own imaginary creature to take home or leave on show.

The Burns Memorial Exhibition began in 1970, named after George Burns (1903-70). Born and educated in Oamaru, he was editor of the Christchurch Star-Sun. During his tenure, the Star ran an annual schools’ art exhibition throughout the South Island.

The Forrester exhibition was run at first by the North Otago Art Society and held in the Athenaeum above the Waitaki Museum. In 1984 it moved to the Forrester, where it has been staged ever since.

A small exhibition in the Forrester’s Vault Gallery, called ‘‘Who was Hubert Struyk?’’, features house collection works that allow the public to rediscover this gallery owner and painter.