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Mercury Bay Art Escape New Artists

As the Mercury Bay Art Escape turns its focus to 2025, those new artists who joined in the 2024 season have added intrinsic value to the existing strength of the Art Escape with their exciting different mediums and approaches.
 |  The Informer  | 

Three of the new artists have shared their impressions as new members of the Mercury Bay Art Escape.

Annemieke Kregting, Upcycled Mosaics, Kuaotunu,

is known to many through her wildlife work in the former Kuaotunu Bird Rescue and she uses her keen knowledge of bird anatomy, feather structure and facial expressions to create mosaics from recycled materials. Annemieke is often to be found sourcing plates, cups and saucers from local opshops.

Annemieke feels she is lucky to have observed wild birds so closely and that this enables her to make her mosaics as real as possible. As a new MBAE artist, Annemieke says, “I’m so grateful and honoured to be part of such a great organisation as the Mercury Art Escape, I’ve met such interesting diverse artists and will definitely be learning along the way from all of them.” Annemieke’s first Showcase Exhibition at the Art Escape Opening Gala night was successful with her pieces selling quickly.

Barry Hishon, Forged in Barry’s Shed, Hahei.

Barry previously worked in the electrical industry and today he swings a hammer to move steel, working from a purpose made studio in his home in Hahei, as a full-time artisan blacksmith. This creative spark was fuelled after a half day course with a blacksmith where he found working with red hot steel mesmerising and fulfilling. Barry has a strong sense of the tradition of hand forged steel artistry and works with both new and recycled materials. Barry described his first Open Studios experience, “Opening weekend was absolutely stunning. We had over 90 people come up to the studio. We set up a tent outside the smithy and most of the weekend I was doing demonstrations which people enjoyed. Many were curious to know how a smithy worked”.  As a new MBAE member, Barry highlights the uplifting and confidence boosting that positive feedback received from both artists and the public gave him. He also appreciates the mentoring and support he has had from established MBAE artists and identified the  opportunity to be in the Showcase Exhibition at Hot Waves Café as expanding his horizons.

Kate Beauchamp, Kate Beauchamp Photography, Whitianga,

is inspired by the landscapes and nature around her to create beautiful colourful and artistic images. Her hope is that her photographic skills will inspire others to see the beauty around them. From her talent, this appears a given.  As a new MBAE member, Kate says she has felt fully supported with her art as well as being promoted in local media.  The MBAE artists ‘meet and greet’ in November gave her the opportunity to chat with fellow artists and ask for best practice tips, which she deemed really useful. Another advantage Kate mentioned was having the support of another local artist (Anne Bowden), who came to look at her studio prior to opening weekend and gave tips about the flow and layout of the studio. For Kate, it’s a great benefit to have her work featured on the MBAE website and her canvas print sold quickly at the Showcase Exhibition Opening Night. Kate sums up that she is greatly enjoying being part of a collaborative group that encourages participation from members and she intends to be more involved by stepping up to a Trustee role within MBAE.

The Mercury Bay Art Escape is richer for its new members and welcomes applications from local artists and community involvement in MBAE.

To register as a NEW ARTIST or GROUP, or as an EMERGING ARTIST (between the ages of 18 to 25) please email or apply on the website by 31 August 2024.