Sometimes the finest things in life are found in slightly unexpected places.
And so it is with the annual Riversdale Arts Exhibition - a majestically curated visual feast of outstanding artwork, stylishly displayed by the effervescent Riversdale Arts team.
An extravaganza of artistic creation unfurls every July as invited guests at the top of their game showcase their work.
Riversdale Arts are a group of enthusiastic art lovers based in the charming, rural Northern Southland town, who each year curate this stunning mixed media exhibition running over a 10-day period.
Next event date: 1-10 July 2022
Keen to learn more: www.riversdalearts.co.nz
From its beginnings half a century ago, the exhibition has blossomed into an iconic event attracting some of New Zealand’s finest artists from sculpture to ceramics, painting, photography, glass work, pottery, jewellery and textiles.
During the year, Riversdale Arts complements this annual hive of activity with arts classes from painting to wire sculpture to lino cut printing, willow-ball making and wool felting.
The group is a supportive nest of the arts that aims to facilitate, promote, educate and foster support for the arts in all their various forms.
The mid-July gala exhibition opening night unfurls, announcing the beginning of the annual celebration of creative excellence.
The list of artistic luminaries who have exhibited is testament to the high regard the event is held in and reads like a who’s who of the southern and national creative arts scenes.
It’s a must-see on the events calendar, showcasing more than 500 artworks from more than 80 artists, in a wide variety of mediums.
Invited artists from throughout New Zealand line up alongside aspiring, local artists.
The Emerging Artist Award, awarded on opening night, is one of the many highlights of the exhibition - open to artists aged from 13 to 25 - with work from selected finalists displayed in the exhibition.
Artworks are viewed by large audiences who flock from throughout Otago and Southland. The exhibition gives anyone passing through the beautiful town the opportunity to peruse works and maybe add something unique to their own collections.
Fabulous coffee and delicious food are served up at the Yum – Pop up Café, run by the Balfour Home and School with an ever changing menu of offerings to keep yourself fuelled up. Be sure to check out the fantastic gift shop packed with works from invited craftspeople and exhibition artists - there’s sure to be something there that will look amazing at your place.
Riversdale alights with energy during the exhibition with local schools and playcentres encouraged to participate and have work displayed in the café at the exhibition.
For a dash more inspiration, you need to fully explore Northern Southland, which is a beautiful contrast of green, rolling farmland, majestic snow-capped mountains, and tussock clad high country.
Both the Oreti River and the upper section of the Mataura River run through Northern Southland, offering some of the best dry fly fishing in the world, as well as some of the best cycling trails and mountain bike tracks in New Zealand.