Kāpiti Art Studio artists Erena Wylie, Helen Wildin, Debbie Holland, Heather Lopdell, Finley McLuckie and Stacey Menzies have made the top 100 of the IHC Art Awards. Photo / Rosalie Willis
On Thursday mornings at Kāpiti Art Studio, artists of all kinds can be seen working with their choice of materials, accompanied by friendly conversation and a cup of tea.
Heather Lopdell paints layers and layers of paint on paper, creating a triptych over a month – a process that takes, in her words, “an eternity”.
Stacey Menzies uses spray paint to cover a circular canvas before gluing on gold foil to finish the job, while Debbie Holland decides to do something completely original, painting a chair with acrylic paint and transforming it from a tired white sitting chair to an electric statement piece.
All three are regulars at Thursday morning art sessions hosted by Kāpiti Art Studio, supported by funding from the Te Tahua Whakahaumaru Creative Arts Recovery and Employment (CARE) Fund.
Thanks to the funding, Kāpiti Art Studio coordinator Rebecca Bond is able to enter artists into competitions, prizes and exhibitions, the most recent of which is the IHC Art Awards.
This year, six artists from the studio entered the top 100.
Heather, Stacey and Debbie have just been announced as finalists, as have Helen Wildin, Erena Wylie and Finley McLuckie.
Proving to be a budding photographer in recent years, Helen has pursued her craft, driving around the neighborhood taking pictures.
Setting out with coordinator Rebecca Bond, Helen took photos from Ōtaki to Paraparaumu, with a stop at the Bust Stop Cafe providing plenty of photos.
Choosing a hero image, Helen and Rebecca put it into an app which helped them create an image of Kāpiti Island using all the photos, sorted into the colors needed to create the island and the sea .
Meanwhile, Erena’s work utilized perhaps one of the band’s most interesting techniques, punching holes in a circular black-painted canvas.
Holes are punched in the canvas to replicate the image on a dime, giving it texture and allowing light to shine through.
“I liked the idea of creating art that blind people can feel,” Erena said.
“It’s called Taniwha and it has a lot of texture.”
Finley McLuckie, a 13th grade student at Kāpiti College, visits the Kāpiti Art Studio on Thursday afternoons, with her painting Glowing Trees chosen as a finalist.
Loving to paint, draw, sew and many other art forms, Finley creates mystical worlds through her art.
She said it was “pretty exciting and cool” to make the top 100.
His piece Glowing Trees has colored trees ranging from purple to green with blue in between, creating a stunning scene that you could almost walk into.
Together, artists are supported to create works with many different materials, only limited by their creativity in a welcoming and safe environment.