There are hopes the capital’s visual arts scene might get an overdue profile enhance by a new festival which will see galleries collaborate in a partnership which is been explained as “unusual” for enterprises typically viewed as worlds unto themselves.

The Encounter to Experience festival operates May possibly 27 to 30 throughout Wellington and will see nine seller and six public galleries arrive together to showcase work by some of Aotearoa’s most-celebrated portrait artists in a collection of exhibitions, artist talks, studio visits, workshops and assortment tours.

On May well 29 there will be a late-night time event, with galleries staying open up after dim and hosting are living performances. The idea is to replicate artwork-crawl products which have uncovered achievement overseas, such as London’s Artwork Night, or Paris’ or Berlin’s Artwork 7 days.

“It’s pretty abnormal for vendor and general public galleries to collaborate in this way,” stated Grace Ridley-Smith, competition coordinator and manager of Wellington’s McLeavey Gallery.

Standing, from left: Hamish McKay of Hamish McKay Gallery, Craig Beardsworth of Suite, Jhana Millers of Jhana Millers Gallery, Marcia Page of Page Galleries. Seated, from left: Penney Moir and Jenny Neligan of Bowen Galleries, Olivia McLeavey of McLeavey Gallery, Judith Carswell of AVID Gallery, Paulette Robinson of Solendar Gallery, Alison Bartley of Bartley & Company Art. These are the nine dealer galleries involved in the festival.

JOHNNY HENDRIKUS/WELLINGTON NZ

Standing, from left: Hamish McKay of Hamish McKay Gallery, Craig Beardsworth of Suite, Jhana Millers of Jhana Millers Gallery, Marcia Site of Web site Galleries. Seated, from remaining: Penney Moir and Jenny Neligan of Bowen Galleries, Olivia McLeavey of McLeavey Gallery, Judith Carswell of AVID Gallery, Paulette Robinson of Solendar Gallery, Alison Bartley of Bartley & Business Artwork. These are the 9 seller galleries included in the competition.

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Even though some of the capital’s gallerists came with each other very last yr for Fired Up, a ceramics festival inside of the broader New Zealand Festival, Ridley-Smith reported Face to Face would enhance Wellington’s visible arts profile even far more.

Portraiture was selected as the festival’s concentrate because it is a “human” kind of art, Ridley-Smith said.

“Especially in the electronic age – we can all take a selfie, [we are all] artists.” The strategy of the self was also topical with ongoing international discussions relating to id, belonging and representation.

Louise Henderson (1902-1994) by Sam Mitchell. Mitchell’s work will be featured as part of the festival.

SAM MITCHELL/Bartley & Business Artwork

Louise Henderson (1902-1994) by Sam Mitchell. Mitchell’s operate will be showcased as portion of the pageant.

With a multi-place, multi-function premise, Encounter to Face will see most – but not all – of Wellington’s vendor galleries, as properly as a handful of general public galleries which include Te Papa, The Dowse, Metropolis Gallery and Toi Māori Aotearoa appear collectively to function no cost exhibitions to do with portraiture.

“There is this classic, inherited idea that each individual gallery is a globe unto alone, or its possess island and repository for awareness. What’s thrilling about this event … [is] opening up these channels of communication,” Ridley-Smith claimed.

“We are all much better collectively. We are colleagues, not competitors. And we are all battling the superior battle.”

The constructing of relationships involving galleries would consequence in extra opportunities to collaborate, Ridley-Smith explained.

‘Aiko, the Caterpillar Killer’ by John Pusateri, whose work will be featured as part of the festival.

Provided

‘Aiko, the Caterpillar Killer’ by John Pusateri, whose get the job done will be showcased as section of the pageant.

Whilst there had been some personal galleries which ended up not taking part for a variety of reasons, which include timing and conflicting schedules, Ridley-Smith was hopeful if the festival was successful plenty of to return in coming a long time its listing of individuals could mature.

A further premise of Encounter to Confront is accessibility.

It’s hoped that live new music performances, which have been married up to will work on show in many venues, will make ease and comfort and vibrance for festival-goers, and get rid of any hesitance which could exist for a person who’s doubtful no matter if they can enter a gallery.

“We hope people today consider absent a perception of pride and ownership in these galleries being their spaces – they belong there. … These establishments are us, and they are for us.”

‘Polo’ by Claudia Kogachi. Kogachi’s work will also be featured as part of the festival.

Supplied

‘Polo’ by Claudia Kogachi. Kogachi’s perform will also be highlighted as aspect of the competition.

Ridley-Smith stated the festival’s de-centralised model was especially pertinent in a article-Covid environment, with lesser “cellular” groups of individuals getting capable to form throughout numerous venues, versus big clusters.

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“>Kiingi Tuheitia Portraiture Award, which

Grace Ridley-Smith, manager of McLeavey Gallery, says the festival will create more opportunities for the capital’s galleries to work together.

Johnny Hendrikus

Grace Ridley-Smith, supervisor of McLeavey Gallery, states the competition will build additional possibilities for the capital’s galleries to get the job done together.

recognises rising Māori artists.

The winner from the award’s 50 shortlisted finalists will be announced on Might 27, with an exhibition of the finalists’ get the job done managing at the Portrait Gallery from May well 28 to August 15, prior to touring nationally.