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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 2. 1963.

Art Facilities for Refreshers

Art Facilities for Refreshers

In this the first of a 1963 series on the fine arts reviews I would like to address myself particularly to freshers. Unless you are already from the Wellington district, the set-up in respect of the arts will be new to you. Let's discuss how we fare in the capital with facilities for participation in, and the viewing of, the visual arts.

First, one should make it quite clear that Wellington, very definitely, is the hub of the national visual arts wheel. Not only are we fortunate enough to have the National Art Gallery, but we are the focal point for the staging of many national competitions and exhibitions.

The New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, which is situated in the same building as the National Art Gallery (above the Dominion Museum in John Street), holds two annual exhibitions and a graphic arts, sculpture and pottery showing. The Wellington branch of the New Zealand Potter's Association is a vigorous body which exhibits often.

The annual competitions run by the Kelliher Trust and by the National Bank of New Zealand are both judged and shown in the capital.

Last year we also saw the top paintings in the Christchurch-organised Hays' Art Contest.

There are many local art groups, too. The Wellington Art Club, the Lower Hutt Art Society and the Upper Hutt Art Society all present their work in exhibitions which, while not pretending to be of high artistic standard, are worth a visit.

Two city galleries offer continual exhibitions throughout the year:—the Centre Gallery, Lambton Quay, and the Willeston Galleries, Victoria Street.

Any student who is interested in art should see the Centre Gallery people, who run an active group with special student concessions. Both these galleries are well worth keeping in touch with.

As the student becomes involved in the various cultural activities which go on at the University he realizes the basic interdependence of all the arts—literature, music, drama or the film.

The fine arts are none the less important—even though there is no actual department at this University.

Victoria has a flourishing Contemporary Arts Society which shows, periodically, exhibitions of New Zealand paintings. Many paintings are being hung in the University by the authorities.

This year, I hope, we will be able to continue exchanges of opinion and criticism which are so invaluable in stimulating interest in the arts.

I hope this year merely to lead off and then to leave the floor open for individual contributions.

Willeston Galleries: The recent showing by the Frenchman, M. Guy Huze, was impressive for this painter's general competence and for his smaller gouache studies in particular. I rather agree, however, with "The Dominion" critic. Russell Bond, who commented that the artist could say more if he cared to exert himself.