The Rotary Club of Greenmeadows held their first sale of paintings in 1982 convened by Club member Lindsay Knowles. Records show the second “National Exhibition and Sale of Art” was held in the Founders Room of the Napier Museum from 23 to 27 March, 1983.

Thirty one artists displayed ninety three paintings including well known painters such as Graham Braddock from North Auckland, Peter Brown from Gisborne, Roy Sefton , “a respected artist who previously was a cartoonist and illustrator” and Joyce Atkinson, both  from Manawatu. Judith Moreton, “who is a professional artist with exceptional ability from the hub of the Waikato” exhibited five paintings. Penny Madden from Napier and others had pottery for sale as well. The profit of $2000 was donated to local community projects.

Records show the great stewardship that has guided this very successful Rotary Project for so long. Initially started by Lindsay Knowles, a succession of Club members have guided the project through the years until John Hanlen took over in 1997. Under John Hanlen and a change of venue, profits increased 600% to $36,000 from an average of $6-7,000.

The first Art-x at the Pan Pac Foyer of the Napier Municipal Theatre was the 17th year of the event attracting 50 artists from throughout the country. Project co-ordinator, John Hanlen commented at the time “A combination of a strong marketing plan, new sponsorship and a new venue has proved to be a winning formula” for the 1998 Art-x. The move to this site gave the Exhibition a much higher profile resulting in a record number of sales and this years sales increased 50% beyond our expectations”. 3600 people visited during the two week period, during which 81 paintings were sold, raising a total of $56,800. Most artwork ranged in price from $100 to $3,000, with an average painting price of $750. After six years John Hanlen retired back to his favourite position of art and artist selection. Several members have successfully guided the project through the intervening years and Stewart Skeet is the present Project Manager.

While each exhibition is different, some things remain the same – a careful mix of traditional and contemporary styles and techniques, from oil paintings to acrylics to mixed media – expanding this year to a sculpture in wood carving- bringing a wide range of style and affordability.

Art-x Today

Today, Art-x continues on, with John Hanlen still playing an integral part. The Sale is held each year in June and runs for two weeks. The Art-x Gala Opening is held on the Friday before opening to the public on Saturday. On average, close to 50% of total sales are made on opening night so it is not to be missed. Those interested can apply on this website to be on our mailing list or apply for tickets to the Opening.

Over the last ten years 800 paintings have been sold, being a third of those on offer, raising a gross figure of over $900,000, an average painting price of approximately $1,300. Between 4000 and 5000 art enthusiasts visit Art-x during the two weeks it is open.

Every year leading artists from throughout the country, including Hawke’s Bay, are invited to exhibit their paintings and those interested can apply to the selection panel for next year. The objective is to display a range of paintings that will be of interest to the broad spectrum of the community.

Art-x acknowledges the great support from our Sponsors, which completely underpins our achievement of giving over $350,000 back into the Hawke’s Bay community over ten years. This is a great feat for a non-profit organisation with a project run entirely by volunteers.