Sarjeant: Pattillo 2020 Whanganui Arts Review is a record-breaker
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Sarjeant: Pattillo 2020 Whanganui Arts Review is a record-breaker

Sarjeant: Pattillo 2020 Whanganui Arts Review is a record-breaker

By Helen Frances, Whanganui Chronicle.

Jennifer Kenny is one of many artists who have submitted a record breaking 207 artworks for the 2020 Pattillo Whanganui Arts Review.

Artists queued in the street outside the Sarjeant Gallery on Wednesday to submit a record breaking 207 artworks to the 2020 pattillo Whanganui Arts Review.

In the first 90 minutes 100 people submitted their work.

Inside the Sarjeant Gallery it was all hands to the pump as staff received entries and submission fees for the 2020 pattillo Whanganui Arts Review, recorded entry details, checked memberships, unpacked artworks and set them up for the selection panel to choose the works to be exhibited.

This year’s Arts Review judge Linda Tyler will view the exhibition and select the winning works including the Open Award winner who will receive $5000 and the opportunity to accept the pattillo project – a solo artist showcase exhibition – for 2021.

Tyler is an accomplished and respected art historian academic and curator at Auckland University.

An experienced museum professional, she has worked at various institutions around the country including as director at the Gus Fisher Gallery and curator of pictorial collections at the Hocken gallery.

The 2020 pattillo Whanganui Arts Review exhibition will open to the public on Saturday February 29, the day after the awards are announced at the War Memorial Centre.

“We never know what will come through the door,” said Greg Donson, curator and public programmes manager. “It’s very different from exhibitions we plan in-house where we have control over the works we select. This year we have seen a fantastic range of high-quality and varied work.”

Assistant curator James Hope works closely with Donson, learning the ropes as he builds a career in the New Zealand art world. He was appointed soon after returning to New Zealand from six weeks at the Venice Biennale where he was exhibitions attendant.

This is Hope’s first Whanganui Arts Review experience. He has worked four months at the Sarjeant, relocating from Christchurch to cover for Jessica Kidd while she is on maternity leave.

“There is a huge range of works – a lot of paintings this year, sculpture, glass, ceramics, some jewelry and a little bit of photography. It’s been exciting to see the breadth of work submitted from the Whanganui region. I’ve never been involved in anything quite like this before so it’s great to see how this all runs. And knowing that it is over 30 years old is cool.”

Hope said submissions day was “very full-on” from the moment the gallery opened at 10.30am. “There was a lull around lunchtime with submissions picking up again when students finished school.

Assistant Curator James Hope at Sarjeant on the Quay.

“The whole team comes together and does whatever is needed to get everything ready. We arranged the paintings around the walls and Te Maari, our registrar, made sure there were hanging systems in place. I’ll be excited to see it all hung on the walls. It’s a huge job and will take several days.”

Because the content of the Arts Review is a mystery until submissions day, Hope said the following few days are very intense as they try to work with the available space and the different sizes and range of work submitted.

Hope said that last year about 120 works made it to the exhibition and a similar number can be expected this year.

“The team at the Sarjeant is small and tightly knit and people look after one another. They are very friendly and encouraging. The new building is so exciting too – and it will be an incredible space to experience the Sarjeant’s amazing collection. As a big gallery fan I can’t wait to come and experience it.”

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