Arty takeover of Saxton Stadium


Saxton Stadium will transform from a sporting venue into an art gallery this weekend for the third annual Art Expo Nelson.
Art Expo Nelson brings together 120 artists from around the South Island, making it the largest gathering of artists in the Top of the South. “I can’t think of anything else that brings that many artists together in one place. There are a lot of artists from all over the South Island, including one from Invercargill and some from Christchurch and Blenheim,” says project manager Nic Foster.
While there are plenty of artists coming from out of town, the majority are still from within the region, and that’s a reflection of how many artists live in Nelson. “There’s something like 400 artists that live in the region and that’s probably one of the highest per capita. It’s a great opportunity for them to get their artwork out there and for people to come along.”
Nic says there are plenty of upsides to the Art Expo Nelson. “It gives artists a chance to network with each other and the art-buying public,” he says. “You’ve got a whole lot of art in the one place and that’s a huge advantage for the buyers. You can go along to soak up the atmosphere, and even you don’t buy anything, you can be inspired.”
Nic says there’s always a great vibe at the event, with a cafe/bar open as well. “People always get excited by this event and the bonus for people is they might walk away with a piece of art that they really love.”
First time entrant, Georgia Barber, says it’s going to be “a head full of fun”. “I’ve not really done anything quite like this before so this is a pretty big deal for me,” she says. “I’m nervous too, but I’ve had a lot of encouragement from James and Gill at The Framing Rooms to go into it this year, and without their support I probably would have lacked the confidence to give it a go. I don’t want to take it too seriously, but I know there will be lots to learn.”
Art Expo Nelson opens its doors at 10am on Friday and continues until Sunday.