Skip to main content

Local Events

Good visitor numbers and sales for Art Escape

The Mercury Bay Art Escape saw good visitor numbers. Feedback from artists was very positive. A lot of visitors had decided to stay in the area specifically to visit the studios open for the event.
 |  Lynette Gee  | 

The numbers were stronger than the previous two years. “It’s all about getting people to the Coromandel,” said Tairua artist Souxie Speerstra.

“Everybody I spoke to had a fantastic time. They were definitely art enthusiasts and art appreciators out enjoying themselves,” she said.

“Most of the visitors to my studio came from outlying areas like Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga and many had a connection to the Coromandel, whether it was a bach, or friends living in the area.”

Hahei blacksmith Barry Hishon, new to the Art Escape, said, “The 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.  The gallery had good sales. As a new artist, alot of people came to see what we do.”

Kaylie Finnis, a Tairua painter and photographer, met many different people from other parts of the peninsula and people not from the peninsula. She found the conversations engaging and received a lot of encouraging comments on her work.

“The more interesting buyers were those who had recently purchased new homes or baches and were looking for art,” she said. She went on to say that she would like to see younger faces coming through and would encourage those in their twenties through forties to come and explore.

The brochure paid off for Kaylie who had someone call her Sunday evening after the event had finished, to purchase, “It was a nice surprise and pleasing that someone was prepared to do that and pay shipping costs.”

Annie Smits Sandano, painter, ceramic artist, and printmaker from Hahei, had some good sales and picked up some commissions.

“Visitors were a broad, diverse range of people. It was lovely to connect with people who buy my work and welcome them to my studio. I often sell through galleries, and I don’t get to meet the people who buy through that avenue. It’s amazing to know that people save the date and come specifically for the event.”

This was Tairua painter Michael Harrison’s seventh year. “I had a decent number of people through, and people stayed a bit longer to discuss aspects of the paintings and the area.”

He commented that it feels like things are back on track post-Covid, and with the opening  of State Highway25A bridge. Good summer weather also helps.