100 Days – a Journey 2020: nine of the 25 artists, Nov 2020. (Kevin Ramshaw photo)

The best of 2,500 creative moments experienced by 25 Kāpiti and lower-North Island artists in the course of 100 days is Mahara Gallery’s latest show and contribution to the annual Kāpiti Arts Trail.

Supervising artists and mentors Kate Hartmann and John Cornish have narrowed the creative moments down from 2500 to 200 to meet the demands of gallery space in an exhibition titled 100 Days — a Journey 2020.

Gallery Director Janet Bayly says, at roughly six times the size of the normal suite of exhibitions, 100 Days has been a stretch for the Gallery but an extremely rewarding experience.

She paid tribute to Kate Hartmann and John Cornish for delivering the exhibition in what has been a difficult and demanding year during which the Covid19-enforced closure of the Gallery for two months had disrupted the Gallery’s exhibition programme.

“It is a testament to the resilience, passion and hard work of the wider Kāpiti arts community that we have been able to deliver 100 Days here as envisioned last October,” she said.

“It has grown into a much bigger project than we would normally attempt, even in the best of conditions.

“One thing we all know about Kate now is that she has courage, determination and guts – so thank you Kate.”

The concept involves participating artists producing work over a hundred-day period. From an initial cohort of six, the group has grown to 25 over four years.

“They don’t actually need to have produced a work every day,” says Kate Hartmann, who took up the idea four years ago and exhibited the resulting work at her Tutere Gallery + Creative Space after it had become popular globally.

“The important thing is for each artist to immerse in the creative process each day,” she says.

100 Days tends to attract diverse people including established artists and some who have never exhibited before. A very valuable by-product of 100 Days is the community that is formed.”

“Artists can be protective about their work,” John Cornish says. “This group has been wonderful in the way they have been prepared to share their knowledge and their experiences.”

Janet Bayly says almost all the participating artists have a connection with Kāpiti.

“To that extent, it is wonderful to be able to contribute to nurturing the work of local artists,” she says.

The exhibition will run until 12 December 2020.

The artists contributing to 100 Days include Anne, Ruth Blair, Sara Boland, Mariana Collette, Diane Connal, John Cornish, Sheryl Gibbs, Kirsty Glasgow, Kate Hartmann, Brian Holt, Annelies Kamp, Sarah Kenworthy, Anna Layzell, Judith Le Harivel, Mandi-Lynn, Michelle Mainwaring, Rachel Mason, Birgit Moffatt, Angelique Monaghan, Chrissie Sallis, Amanda Smart, Sandra Smillie, Liz Stretton, Karolina Stus and Jane Woodhall 

The exhibition is extended by workshops offered by several of the artists, with assistance from the Kāpiti Creative Communities Scheme, details of which can be found at maharagallery.org.nz and @maharagallery.

100 Days opening 6 Nov 2020: L to R: John Cornish, Janet Bayly and Kate Hartmann. (Kevin Ramshaw photo)