Early indications were that this year might break all records. Unprecedented support from the King’s College community and many art lovers outside the school not only saw the opening night sold out, but also more artists and artworks registered, and more student artists exhibiting, than last year. The end result was a considerable increase in sales over our efforts in 2015.
Now in its 13th year, the annual Art Sale, proudly supported by Gold Sponsor Auckland City BMW is The Friends’ biggest fundraiser of the year with all net proceeds being donated to the College. With sales over the weekend topping $340,000, we are hoping this year’s donation will make a significant contribution towards future improvements to the school’s buildings and facilities, as well as being shared amongst each house and various creative and sporting pursuits.
Led again this year by Sara Weatherall, the team of 60 volunteers and College staff worked tirelessly to transform the Greenbank gymnasium and surrounding spaces to showcase more than 1000 artworks. The task of curating the myriad of styles, sizes, colours and textures into a seemingly effortless display was entrusted again to past parent and established gallery owner, Trish Clark. We are indebted to her professional skill and very grateful for her ongoing support of the College.
The Opening Night Party kicked into gear with Late Night Jazz and The Burtones setting the festive tone. Party-goers took to the EFTPOS machines within minutes of opening while others browsed with a list of artworks they had seen on the website. We finished the evening selling $50,000 more of artwork than at last year’s opening night.
STUDENT TALENT SHINES AT ART SALE
But while the Art Sale is primarily a fundraiser, it is increasingly an opportunity for our student artists to shine. Rodney Fumpston, previous Head of Print Making at Elam School of Fine Arts for 10 years and also an exhibiting artist; and Shelley Byers, Head of Art at King’s School; were tasked with judging various artworks produced by 45 students. At stake were two prestigious visual art and technology awards.
Mr Cary Mellow presented the Pauline Mellow Memorial Prize For Visual Art to Henry Syme (Year 13, Greenbank) for his photograph, The Beekeeper. Runner-up was Bella Mitchell (Year 13, Taylor) for her photograph, adrift.
Claudia Hall (Year 13, Taylor) won the Friends’ Technology Prize for Design and Craftsmanship using fabrics for her coat. Runner-up was awarded to Ben Broughton (Year 12, Parnell) who used wood to make a coffee table, while James Hall (Year 12, St John’s) was highly commended for his work with wood and aluminium to make a table lamp.
This year’s winner of the Friends’ Photography Prize, judged by the Art Department on the students’ overall performance throughout the year, was Lauren Phillips (Year 12, Middlemore). Lauren is a very promising photographer who will continue with photography in Year 13.
AUCKLAND CITY BMW BONNET COMPETITION A WINNER
Continuing with the students’ work, our independent judges were joined by Ian Gibson and Natalie MacGregor from our valued gold sponsors, Auckland City BMW, to evaluate the entries in the House Bonnet competition.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Auckland City BMW Bonnet competition showed there is no limit to the creative talent in each house. Selwyn was declared the overall winner, with St John’s taking out second place, and first-time entrant Te Pūtake Lodge earning a special mention.
The community atmosphere continued over the weekend with the café hosting a Grandparents’ High Tea on Saturday afternoon. More than 40 older family and friends supported this new venture. We enjoyed the opportunity to welcome them to the school and to be able to share the occasion of the Art Sale with them.
It seemed everyone recognised and admired the work of Old Collegian and established artist, Peter Hackett, who generously allowed us to use his painting, The Honeymooners’ Bed, on our promotions. We were delighted when his painting sold over the weekend.
OUR HEARTFELT THANKS
We are very appreciative of the individuals and sponsors who make this event happen. The Friends and the College would like to especially thank Sara Weatherall for leading the Art Sale team again this year, and Heidi Sommerville for supporting Sara so ably with this undertaking. Their enormous contribution and that of their committee, our sponsors and school staff has treated us to a spectacularly successful celebration of art and the strength of our school community.
Member of the Art Sale Team
We are very appreciative of the individuals and sponsors who make this event happen.