Co-founded by secondary school art teachers and artists, Sophie Paterson and Charlotte Sherratt in 2018, The Creators’ Room is a unique visual arts organisation and event for young creative artists aged 15 to 18 years of age in Ōtautahi Christchurch. It hosts annual exhibitions of original works and edition prints by students providing prominent public visibility that has few, if any, precedents in both their presentation and the rigour of the selection process. Receiving more than 2,000 subjects from students each year, selected works are exhibited over two weeks, The Creators’ Room inviting art collectors on its database to consider and purchase.
The scholarship is judged by an independent judging panel consisting of practising artists and art experts. This year the scholarship was awarded to Annabelle Goodwin of St Margaret’s College. The judging panel included director of the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Blair Jackson, Chambers Gallery manager, Julie Williams, and artists Janna van Hasselt and Kate Woodley.
Twenty guest artists from around Canterbury will also be exhibiting alongside the students.
Among the participating artists in 2021 are Hannah Anderson and Amie Coombes. Anderson says that being selected to exhibit in Art Stars 2021 has been significant for her. ‘Influenced by artists Jen Sievers and Kate Pittas, being selected made my confidence skyrocket and also made me look into other parts of arts practice, for example, in clay and pottery. I would love to start selling my clay pieces one day and I am so happy that I can bring my family along to the exhibition’. Her painting Summer argues a convincing case for abstraction and painting as a means and end to realise the reality of the seasons.
Amie Coombes’ 36-6 Degrees draws from her experience and memories of Kaiteriteri, ‘where I would always go as a kid. My work’s aim is to make people consider the environment more deeply and the impacts global warming will have on future generations. I watched Kaiteriteri gain in popularity and infrastructure, therefore losing its peaceful beauty. 36-6 Degrees is about the overpopulation of beach destinations to hopefully encourage action against climate change’.
‘Being selected for this exhibition was very surprising as I have never thought much of my artwork... this exhibition has given me a lot more confidence in my work. I am studying architecture at Victoria University of Wellington and my involvement in art during high school has been so helpful to my work at university’.
Since its inception in 2018, The Creators’ Room has provided upwards of $210,000 in financial support to young creators in Canterbury alone, and to further young artists continued participation in the arts, Paterson and Sheratt have set an annual scholarship to ‘one deserving creator, consisting of a $3,000 cash contribution to support the growth and development of their artistic career.’
Fundamentally, exhibitions are centred upon the experience of a career as an artist, encouraging ongoing participation in and appreciation of the arts and while the programme is currently only available in Canterbury, the opportunity will be made available to all Secondary Schools throughout Aotearoa in the coming years.
The Creators’Room: Art Stars 2021
Hereford to High Street Atrium
Entrances: 248-250 High Street and 150 Hereford Street (beside City Fitness)
Opening 3 September, 6pm – 9pm. Tickets $35 via thecreatorsroom.co.nz
4 – 18 September, 9am -6pm
Supported by the Christchurch City Council’s Enliven Places Projects Fund.
1. Hannah Anderson, Summer, 2021, acrylic paint and fluid acrylic
2. Amie Coombes, 36.6 degrees, 2021, ink and watercolour.