The Devonport Arts Festival 2012: November 17th – 25th
Devonport Arts Festival be part of it!
November heralds the rebirth of the Devonport Arts Festival, celebrating all things arty in and around this creative village. Festival organiser Toni van Tonder tells us more…
After 12 months of organisation the revived Devonport Arts Festival is finally upon us, and what a show the Devonport Peninsula is putting on.
The idea to revive the festival began as a small seed, planted into a conversation with Linda Blincko from The Depot Artspace in 2011. She told me of its remarkable origins; that it began in the 1950s by the parents of Devonport's own Barry Brickell, and grew into a large scale annual event. Sadly however, the festival went quiet and lay dormant for nearly ten years. What hasn't been in hibernation during this time, however, is Devonport's creative talent. With new faces on the scene, new art to showcase, a fresh perspective and enormous enthusiasm by Devonport's locals, it became quite clear that it was time for the festival to shake off its slumber.
I've been told by many that it's always the first year that poses the most challenges. Based on my experience, that premise is either an enormous fallacy, or a clear indication of the exciting future of the festival; as every individual or group, organisation or business whom I spoke with, were more than willing to jump onboard and offer an event to add to the festival line-up.
Over the festival's nine days there is a huge array of rich and exciting art for the people of, and visitors to, Devonport to experience. Everyone has worked hard organising their events and all I can ask of you is to attend as many as you can to encourage the community to continue doing what they do best.
Devonport's streets will be dressed in their finest with knit-installations by local knit-graffiti artist Helene Dehmer and her contingent of international knitters. Mount Victoria will be looking a little bit spotty thanks to Robyn Gibson's creative mind. There will be twilight art demonstrations at the Community House, craft markets, gigs at the Masonic and a special 'Arts on Film' film festival hosted by The Vic. Helen Moulder puts on a one-woman play at St Augustine Church and Michele Leggott reads some of her latest poetry that has very intimate links with her family's place in Devonport.
Children get to enjoy the Plunket summer picnic or music, face painters and Old MacDonald's petting zoo at Windsor Reserve. Special exhibitions will be open and artists will be giving demonstrations in galleries. There will be free cartoon workshops, classes in Sculpting, and so much more. This will all begin at our grand opening on Saturday 17th at the Depot Artspace, where, with our Mayor Len Brown, we will reflect on Devonport's place in Auckland's creative landscape.
Thanks go out to BAYLEYS who, after getting wind of the project immediately jumped onboard as a key sponsor, and also Auckland Council's Creative Communities Scheme. Most importantly, thanks go out to every person who has shown enthusiasm for the revival, whether you've played an active part of it or not, that enthusiasm has carried us all a long way.
The full detailed programme can be viewed or downloaded from www.devonportartsfestival.co.nz or join the facebook page www.facebook.com/devonportartsfest