Pinning down a Christmas treat

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Talented Queenstown teens have turned artistic labours of love into creations for others to enjoy at a novel exhibition.

A group of 25 Wakatipu High art design, painting and photography students are displaying and selling miniature versions of their portfolios in the form of brooches, or “art pins” at Artbay Gallery.

The Year 12 and 13 students each produce a portfolio of their year’s work – and now they’re using their assignments as a taster for life as a professional artist.

The idea was inspired by an Auckland gallery which ran a similar exhibition – and acts as a fundraiser for the school art department. Money from the first badge sold from each artist will go to WHS and subsequent sales of extra pins will go to the students.

“The pins are original works and limited editions,” WHS arts coordinator Kaye Turner explains.

“It’s great for the kids to develop a working relationship with a gallery – normally to try getting them into galleries is like pulling teeth.”

Year 12 photography student Philippa Cochrane, 17, photographed glass bottles for her portfolio.

“We’ve just finished our [portfolio] and we all had lots of really good pictures left that didn’t make it onto the boards,” she says.

“It’s a good way to use the pictures in an ingenious way.”

About 60 pins – at $25 each – are displayed on a handmade contemporary Christmas tree. Artbay owner Pauline Bianchi is donating the display space and not taking a cut on sales.

“I really enjoy supporting the community in any way I can,” Bianchi says.

“I think gallery owners should encourage emerging artists no matter how young they are – everybody’s got to start somewhere.”