Hi, I'm Emma Jones and I was the Mercury Bay Art Escape scholarship recipient for 2023. This was my experience...
I got the fantastic opportunity to meet with my chosen artists and explore new art styles and techniques I'd never tried before.
In March, I was lucky enough to attend the Opening Gala of the Art Escape at Hot Waves cafe. It was awesome to see all of the artist's exhibits including last year's scholarship recipients, Alex Litherland and Sebastian Ross’ work.
During the first weekend of March, I went around some of the artist’s open studios, it was amazing to see, everyone's different workspaces and hear about some of their ideas and inspiration.
As part of the scholarship I was able to choose a couple of artists as mentors, I first met with Anne Bowden, the scholarship coordinator, to talk about which artists I would like to choose. Before contacting the artists themselves and working out times to get together.
In July, I met with Emma Gustafson at her studio and started working on a beach painting. It was fascinating to learn about her process and it was great to be able to ask questions as I went. Other than the actual painting side of things I also learned a lot about what it could be like working as a full-time artist. We discussed things like University courses and where she gets her inspiration from locally.
The second Artist I chose was Anne Bowden. Also during July I met with Anne and began a mosaic. I'd never done mosaic before and was really keen to try it out. First I sketched out my idea and after brainstorming with Anne, figured out a way to make it work in tile. Then
I transferred my fish design onto a tile in ink, the tile got fired separately
and cut out. After preparing the board I got started on the little pieces of
tile which would make up the background.
For the next few weeks after school on a Monday, I went around to Anne’s studio to work on my mosaicfor a couple of hours.
I loved having the chance to work with these two artists. I learned so much and had equally as much fun. Leading up to this year I've been really unsure about what I wanted to study at university. This experience, and talking to both Emma and Anne really helped me realise that the creative industry is definitely where I want to be. I've been accepted to study a Bachelor of Fine Arts at both Auckland and Wellington, (I'm yet to decide where I'll go). I am really looking forward to exploring even more art mediums and techniques. I would like to thank the Mercury Bay Art Escape trustees for this opportunity and I would definitely recommend this program to future students.