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Sunday, 24 February 2019 11:02 am

Newtown’s A’art gallery open to all

Exhibitor Heidi Ankers peers out of the front window of her Riddiford Street gallery.A COMMUNITY project which aims to challenge people’s perceptions of art has been set up in Newtown.

A’art Gallery opened last night at 162 Riddiford Street with two free exhibitions, ‘things i’ve been working on’ and ‘Inshallah’.

The exhibitions make up a “collection of the wondrous, the uncanny and the re-purposed for those who go not seeking perfection, but the understanding of it”, says co-organiser and exhibitor Heidi Ankers.

She was delighted to open the artists’ exhibition space with her own show, ‘things i’ve been working on’ – a large collection five years in the making.

Ms Ankers’ mother and sister were both artists by the time she was born.

“Grandma – Teuane Tibbo – took up the brush in her 80s after a dream and quickly became a renowned painter of Samoa, and I cared for her needs and studio.

“My adult life has been spent studying the world’s peoples and their arts, and making is my way of talking to you about identity.”

Over time, she says, a perception has developed that art is “elitist, too complicated and not for everyone”.

“We want to challenge that and put art within reach of anyone.”

‘Inshallah’ curator Richard Wallace says they are fortunate to have been given the use of the building for a community-based project involving artists and craftspeople.

“This will be a free, open space for the encouragement, development and support of art and crafts in Wellington.”

Every piece on display should be for sale, but that will be entirely between the maker and the buyer, with the gallery taking no commission.

A’art will also offer help and advice with framing, preservation and studio space, along with a reading library and tea or coffee.

“Money has become too associated with art and we would like to see if it is possible to uncouple the two.”

PICTURE: Exhibitor Heidi Ankers peers out at on-lookers from the front window of her Riddiford Street gallery.

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is a multi-media journalist and Whitireia graduate specialising in video, audio, web 2.0, technology, photography, editing and Photoshop. After graduating from Whitireia, and a brief stint in teaching for the school, he moved on to working for Stuff.co.nz.
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