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Creative Peep at Art Week

Mink Boyce
Rather than a festival, Art Week should be thought of as a spotlight on everything already going on in Auckland’s vibrant arts scene, says programming facilitator Mink Boyce.

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By Elise Sterback

Rather than a festival, Art Week should be thought of as a spotlight on everything already going on in Auckland’s vibrant arts scene, says Art Week’s programming facilitator Mink Boyce.

By Elise Sterback

Rather than a festival, Art Week should be thought of as a spotlight on everything already going on in Auckland’s vibrant arts scene, says Art Week’s programming facilitator Mink Boyce.

While some new events are scheduled for the week, their goal is to compliment existing spaces, galleries and events. Art walks around the central city are there to take you on a tour of public and street art, to give greater insight into the making and meaning behind the works.

Opening up new and different access points to art and developing arts audiences is a major focus for the Art Week team. Mink describes how cross-overs between art and other industries like fashion, music, design and even dining, are used to create more diverse access points and a wider audience reach.

“Younger audiences, I think, are often intimidated by the art world - galleries that seem scary with all this white space, and no one talks to you. Then you hear the story behind the works, and sometimes you connect to that story and it then becomes very very real to you.”

“When you get a chance to be a part of that it really has the opportunity to be something that could make you feel better, and I think that’s what it’s all about - being around art and around these people - people that make you connect to things and make you feel that much better, and bring out something in you that you don’t find in other places.”

An example of an experience that Mink hopes will reach more people in this way is the ArtDEGO event on November 4th. Five chefs will each collaborate with an artist to produce a five course “art degustation”, where edible cuisine will be created that interprets each artist’s style.

Mink believes the event will give people time to ‘digest’ the artworks more fully - to understand the artist’s process and hear the story of how the concept behind a work evolves towards the creation of the end product.

Other must sees are the Art Speed Dating night on Oct 31st, and Unlocked Collections, a tour of corporate and private art collections on Nov 1st.

Mink sees particular value in events like these as they help to reverse some misconceptions held about the art world. The individuals involved in Art Speed Dating include some well-known industry professionals (like Jennifer Buckley and Hamish Keith) who donate their time because they want to communicate with people and encourage them to get involved in the arts.

“There’s this misconception of art as being elitist and exclusive, and in reality the people who work in the industry are passionate and dedicated and poor, and give everything they have to ideas.”

“[Auckland’s] regions are so diverse and separate that it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of vibrancy, but there is. It’s often just that people don’t know about it or how to access it, so Artweek is primarily about getting people into it, making them aware that this is a world that goes on and if you’re not aware of it, it’s accessible and these are the avenues that you can access it through.”

With a fantastic and diverse programme this year Mink and her team are well on their way to achieving that vision, the only thing left to be seen is who takes up the offer.

To see the full Art Week programme visit www.artweek.co.nz

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See below for excerpts from talks with other artists and producers, and hear the full interviews here.

Courtney Meredith “What I admire most in artists, whatever medium that they’re working with, we are all at that point where we realise that what we have to offer the world, you can’t turn away from it, you don’t have that privilege to say no. If you have something to say, something to reveal, or something you want to commit your life to, you have to stand eye to eye with the work, you have to push yourself to have the mana, the time, and the respect to love your work.”

Alex Bartleet “It’s nice to have art on a wall, but to move away from that and to have more collaborative projects and things where people stumble across and discover is really something I’m interested in. Art in the Dark does that perfectly - new audiences and people who won’t even know what art is are suddenly just confronted by these pieces, it’s really fun.”

Celia Harrison “My thesis was about how to catalyse community - how to use design and art as an attractor to bring people together, to function better and to reclaim urban space.” Implementing Art in the Dark “has raised the impossibility of the perfect community, but it has also shown what collective work and collective drive can do, and how you can really make a community stronger by pulling together.”

Written by

Elise Sterback

26 Oct 2012

Interests Arts policy researcher for The Big Idea Assist and Working Group member of Creative Coalition.

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