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The Big Apple Project reaches fruitful conclusion with successful auction

apple auction

The auction held in The Tribune building attracted plenty of bidders who gave generously. PHOTO/TIM WHITTAKER PHOTOGRAPHY

The Big Apple Project came to a spectacular conclusion last night, with an auction for the artworks netting just on $200,000 in proceeds to be shared between the artists and Arts Inc. Heretaunga.

For two months now, the community has revelled in the 20 large apple art installations dotted around Hastings city bringing joy with their interpretations of the fruit that plays such an important role in the district.

Arts Inc. Heretaunga, Studio Benega, and the Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival joined forces to bring the arts project to the city and Arts Inc. Heretaunga community arts development manager Pitsch Leiser said the success of the auction was the icing on the cake for the organisers and artists involved.

“It’s been a beautiful community project and it was just a delight to see locals and visitors to Hawke’s Bay take to it and explore the streets while looking at public art.

“It was also very rewarding to be able to pass on financial support to the artists who generously gave their time to create these artworks, and the surplus proceeds will go towards funding future arts projects.”

While many of the apples will be going to private homes and businesses, some will find new homes in public places for the community to continue to enjoy.

One of these is the apple in Flaxmere created by Ricks Terstappen.

Local businesses Topline Contracting, Thornhill Contracting and Bayley Produce chipped in to buy this apple ahead of the auction.

Topline Contracting managing director Taurus Taurima said it was fitting that it should stay in the suburb, given many of the people who lived there worked in the orchards.

Thornhill Contracting general manager Nick Bibby said it was also a way to give back to the artists.

“This project helped support our creative community, especially with the impact of COVID, and purchasing this apple is another way we can give back to them.”

At the auction, Council also bid for another three apples on behalf of local community-minded businesses – TW Property, Tumu Group and Crasborn Fresh Harvest - who generously gave the financial backing for these to remain in public places.

Those apples were the ones created by the Pasifika Senikau Group, Bernie Winkels and Helen Kerridge. It is yet to be determined where they will be placed, but they will be in public spaces freely accessible to all.

Hastings District Council was the core funder of the project and mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was a wonderful way to celebrate the apple industry and the district’s artists.

“Hastings is the apple capital of New Zealand and to see our produce highlighted in such a creative way truly captured the imagination of our community.

“So many people took up the opportunity to follow the trail, it was fantastic to see and hear all the positive feedback.

“I’m so pleased that some of the apples will remain in public places across the district and my thanks go to those businesses who gave their generous support, as well as everyone else who so generously supported this initiative – both the artists and the art purchasers.

“We look forward to seeing what the dynamic team at Arts Inc. Heretaunga come up with next.”

27 October 2022

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