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The timeless architectural beauty of Karangahape Road’s St Kevin’s Arcade has long been a magnet for creative souls taking their first steps toward turning their artistic endeavours into a tradeable commodity.
The venue’s elegant glass shop fronts, 80-year-old wood panelling and feature floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking inner-city Myers Park all combine to provide the perfect backdrop for developing artists, crafts people and young designers electing to display their wares.
And as a new decade dawns in 2010, this tradition looks set to continue as University of Auckland business undergraduate and art lover Cleo Barnett prepares to establish the arcade as home to First Thursdays, a monthly art fair which provides opportunity for emerging and established artists, musicians and performers to showcase and sell their art.
‘’I thought it would fit well into the Auckland Art scene,’ says Cleo who first encountered the concept in her hometown of Seattle where First Thursdays has been running for 18 years. First Thursdays Seattle takes the form of a late night art walk offered once a month around galleries neighbouring historic Pioneer Square and is complemented by installations of public artworks on route.
First Thursdays Auckland debuted in St Kevin’s Arcade on 3 Dec last year when Cleo organised a line-up of artists including painters ranging from street style to pop surrealists, Brazilian dancers and even a glass blower to captivate what turned out to be a more than 900-strong audience of onlookers and buyers who arrived throughout the evening.
The 2010 schedule for First Thursdays Auckland kicks off on Thursday 4 February with a similarly impressive line-up of artists featuring exhibitors such as Amy Walker whose work is described as a cross between Picasso and pop art, Frida Kahlo-inspired crafter of jewellery Miriam Ramos and live hip hop-based band Numbers.
‘It’s a platform for emerging artists who may not otherwise get in to galleries which gives them confidence,’ says Cleo, ‘and it’s fun for established artists, because it offers them a different type of space.’
"We have a great hatter coming with live models and some new jewellers!" says Barbara Holloway, Precinct Manager, The Karangahape Road Business Association.
First Thursdays runs from 6-9pm and is sponsored by, among others, the Karangahape Road Business Association and George FM. For further information about the event visit www.firstthursdays.co.nz
Photos by Patric Seng.
Further information contact:
Mobile: 021 156 1307
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