Brya Ingram / Stuff
Picton artists Val Taylor, left, and Allison Belgrave are two of the artists exhibiting at the Picton Little Theater.
A group of artists who come together weekly to inspire each other are happy to show off their work at the end of a year full of pitfalls.
The Picton Art Group has been a way for artists to socialize and learn from each other for over 20 years, with membership numbers fluctuating as people come and go.
But just getting together in one place has been tricky, with Covid-19 causing blockages and closures reducing the number of places available to meet.
Member Allison Belgrave said the group used meeting rooms at the Picton Waitohi Whare Matauranga library and service center, until the arrival of Covid-19 last year.
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The library has been closed on Alert Levels 4 and 3, and group gatherings have remained prohibited during social distancing requirements at Level 2, as well as since the transition to orange as part of Covid-19 protection because the library did not require a vaccine pass for entry.
“It’s been a very strange year, that way. [Meeting regularly] kept us all going and we tend to produce more work when we get together once a week than when we’re on our own, ”Belgrave said.
The artists all had quite different styles of painting, but they all found value in each other’s reviews and advice, Belgrave said.
Marilyn Jessop and Val Taylor both used acrylics, but Jessop painted flowers, gardens and sometimes people, while Taylor preferred abstract styles and landscapes.
Derek Kirk used watercolors and typically depicted scenes involving water, and Gloria Mitchell used acrylics and pastels in nature scenes. Belgrave used oils for landscapes and some abstract works.
“We’re sort of working on our own things, but the best part about having the band is when there’s something we’re not entirely happy with, but you’re so close to the painting that it’s often hard to see what it is, you may say ‘Come see this, I’m a little bit stuck’, and almost always someone says what they need. It’s good to have other pairs of eyes who watch your work. And we really missed that, ”Belgrave said.
However, they had managed to get out for lunch, in the absence of a meeting room, she said.
“We’re a very friendly group, kind of a very collegial group. Unfortunately, this year has not been easy.
The exhibits had previously been held in storefronts in Picton, but without any suitable venue for this exhibit, Belgrave said the Picton Little Theater turned out to be a perfect alternative. She was herself a theater administrator.
“We are a group representing artists from the community, from the region, so it’s good to be in the little theater. “
New members were always welcome, she said.
“Hopefully we will release orange soon.”
The Picton Art Group exhibition at the Picton Little Theater runs from Friday to January 3 and January 7 to 10. Admission is free and the works are also on sale.