The gala event of the Eden Arts calendar is held in March each year and brings together a large number of recognised Auckland artists who draw and paint from the Essex Road Reserve. The completed works are auctioned the same day to provide funds for community arts initiatives.
Around 40 visual artists work in the park during the day. Talk to the artists or watch an artwork progress from start to finish. Children’s workshops are offered. The work of well known artists can be won in the raffle. It’s a great day with live music, entertainment and various activities to enjoy.
At the end there is a chance to purchase the works created, not to mention all the excitement of
a live auction!
On Saturday 16 March, Artists in Eden Day was back celebrating more than 30 years in the park. It is Auckland’s longest running art event of its kind and a fabulous opportunity to enjoy some of the art talent which is such an integral part of the Mt Eden community.
This year, with the sad events in Christchurch of just the previous day, the atmosphere was more than ever that of a community coming together. A minute's silence was observed at the start of the auction and some of the artworks were donated to charities supporting the families of the Christchurch victims.
The excellent weather on the day helped to bring along big crowds as around forty artists set up shop in the Essex Reserve to paint their personal rendition of the mountain which gives the village its name. There was live music from popular jazz ensemble Nairobi Trio, children's art activities including balloon sculptures, the opportunity to win a Stanley Palmer print in our annual raffle, two very special collectors' item collaborative sketch books to bid for at auction, and the chance to purchase Eden Arts' very own commemorative 30 Year book written at the end of our anniversary year in 2017.
As well as regular longstanding favourites such as Clyde Scott, George Baloghy, David Blair, Mike Morgan, John Horner and Peter Gibson Smith, we welcomed to the event this year newcomers Alan Ibell, young prize winner Rhea Maheshwari from our 2018 awards series, and returning artist Verity Kindlaysides who is back from overseas. We also welcomed back other popular artists such as Peata Larkin, Neal Palmer, Simon Williams, Belinda Griffiths, Nicholas Pound and Krystie Wade.
The day culminated as always in the live auction at 2.30pm. It was a mixed auction with all the usual surprises - great bargains to be had while other works were fiercely fought after. Regular auctioneer Richard Valintine held it all together admirably as always with his particular brand of expertise and charm.
Artists in Eden Day is the flagship event of the Eden Arts Trust - it helps to fund our annual award programmes and we thank those who join us for helping us to continue our support of the arts and artists in our community!