The Queenstown Lakes District’s first creative community showcase has been hailed a major success after four sell-out shows and rave reviews over the past two weekends.
Ninety-one performing artists and 21 visual artists from all over the district have spent the past two months creating their visual and performing arts works for Queenstown and Wānaka locals to enjoy at the RenewArt 2020 events, which wrapped up in Wānaka on Saturday night.
Organised by the Three Lakes Cultural Trust, more than 2000 people attended the live shows and visual art installations at the Queenstown Events Centre (October 9-10) and at the Lake Wānaka Centre (October 16-17), while more than 2000 people so far have viewed the events on Facebook.
“The community has been blown away by the events – the breadth of artistic talent, the cultural diversity and the thought that each artist has put into their renewal-themed concepts,” Trust general manager Jo Brown says.
“The performers and artists are over the moon. It has meant so much to them to be able to perform live on stage, in such a professional setting. It was especially satisfying to know that these arts and cultural practitioners have received payment for their efforts via the significant fundraising the Trust was able to achieve.”
The Trust, which launched in February this year, raised more than $180,000 during lockdown in an effort to support the cultural sector while unifying the community in the wake of Covid-19. Each artist and creative received payment for their efforts from the funding.
“As we all adjust to the new normal, unity is important. RenewArt 2020 set about to unite and strengthen our artistic community while providing free events for the public to enjoy, be inspired by and connect with our local culture,” Brown adds.
The Trust is especially thrilled that more than a third of the visual art pieces on display have been sold over the four shows – supporting the artists even more. The remaining art works will now move to Queenstown Contemporary, a gallery owned by Queenstown artist Marc Blake, from October 28 to November 4 and are available to view and purchase.
The RenewArt community events were supported by funding from the Hugo Charitable Trust, Three Lakes Cultural Trust, Central Lakes Trust, Community Trust South, Otago Community Trust and Creative New Zealand.