Spring show honours ‘friend to many’

Well done . . . Place-getters in the North Otago Art Society Spring Exhibition included (from left) Tania Familton, Davi Vogel Brayner, Carolyn Joan Laraga Belita, Jeff Armstrong, and Ferne Smyth. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Spring may not be in the air but it’s on the walls at Oamaru’s Customs House Gallery.

The North Otago Art Society Spring Exhibition is being held in memory of its late secretary and devoted advocate Jenny Dixon.

President Teri Wood said Mrs Dixon was ‘‘a friend to many in the North Otago community’’.

The society’s artists were invited to create an artwork on the theme of spring, using a 30cm x30cm canvas or board.

‘‘Over 30 artists entered the competition, including four young artists who have been a part of the Customs House Gallery young artist creative programme,’’ Ms Wood said. ‘‘Many artists were first-time exhibitors.’’

Well-known artist Al Bell, who judged the entries, said they were of a very high standard.

First place in the Open category went to Ferne Smyth for Tractor Seats and Bluebells. Second was Jeff Armstrong’s Spring Zephyr, Carolyn Joan Laraga Belita’s Winter by Spring was third, and Fiona Douglas was highly commended.

In the Young Artists category, Davi Vogel Brayner’s Botanical Sun was the winner. Tania Familton was second, Peyton-Rose Young was third, and Ella Black was highly commended.

The society was founded 92 years ago to encourage and develop fine art in the North Otago region, she said.

‘‘The exhibition shows that art continues to be strong tradition in the North Otago community.

‘‘Art has a place in communities to bring people together and to make connections with others that we might not otherwise make.

‘‘The NOAS is a community-based organisation managed by volunteers who love art. Jenny Dixon was a great example of that caring community spirit.’’

The exhibition is on until September 30. The gallery is open Thursday to Sunday from 10am to3pm and on Tuesday from 11am to 3pm.