(Supporting and fostering the arts from 2002 to early 2008)
A brief history…………….
“The best way to encourage artistic freedom is to embrace it yourself “
Justin Jade Morgan
JustArt website, 2005
Were all good things start ……In the Beginning a small group of four -0ne local artist Chris Wells and three art students from the Western Institute of Technology (formally the Taranaki polytechnic) Justin Jade Morgan, Wayne Roberts and Jared Ferris got together to talk about the possibility of setting up a show. This loose collective of sorts aim was, as in most cases for a young artist, to exhibit their work and to communicate their thoughts and ideas. This of course as they found out could not be presented within the bounds of one single event and so they set out to do something else. At this time the group went under the title of “Vesper” (evening in classical Latin), which seemed very appropriate as most of the activities related to the artists at the time were taking place in the evenings.
This group by in large worked together for just over one year (Dec 2002 – Jan 2004) putting together work so that Justin could place it alongside other artists in a range of spaces as he moved through out the North Island.
Vesper held exhibitions in five North Island centers Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, New Plymouth and Wellington (As listed below).
This helped to build a network base and working relationship with galleries, artists, publications, funding bodies and sponsors who were engaged in many areas related to the arts and their communities.
‘Against Popular Opinion & Textibition’ Taranaki Arts Centre,
Featuring over 237 works by 15 artists from Auckland and New Plymouth
‘Vesper@Thistle Hall’, Wellington, NZ
Featuring work by 8 artists from Wellington and New Plymouth
‘Forging Alliances Part Two’, Real Tart gallery/retail space, NP
Featuring work by 10 artists form Auckland and New Plymouth
‘Vesper& Virtual Tart Go North’ ArtStudio, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga, NZ
“Vesper@Platform01” Platform01 Contemporary Art Space, Victoria Street, Hamilton.
“ Street” K Rd, Auckland
‘Forging Alliances’, Zeal Youth Space, Gover St, New Plymouth
During the beginning of 2004 the group dynamic changed a little as people come and went and Morgan decided that he would try to change a few things to see what would happen if he were to introduce a few new ideas and characters into the mix. And so at the end of 2005 the group was re branded and launched in 2006 as Justart thanks to some help from Andrew Black. Justart had become a free online base for local artists or those with connections to the Taranaki region who wanted to present them to the public by way of an artist’s page from which they could express their views, show their work and make connections with others that were involved within the industry. This web presence latest for several years and opened up more space and opportunities for those involved.
This also allowed for JustArts activities to go beyond just the development of documentation and existence on the web.
It now served as a fixed point of communication and a stronger link to the community and activities that manifest when one chooses to present their work and ideas to the public. This action brought about many unexpected opportunities for all that were involved. A wonderful example of the generous support that we received come in November 2005 when Jeremy Thompson and the Waimera Farms Partnership, allowed the opportunity for JustArt to extend its support to the artists and the public of Taranaki via the allocation of a temporary exhibition space (for one year) at 110 Devon Street East (above the empire tea room and the Powderoom).
Thank you Jeremy & co.
During this time JustArt hosted exhibitions within this space as listed below in the following biography and also allowed artists to develop and document work within a free and open space:
JUSTART (2005 – 2008)
Taranaki Youth Arts Festival: Street art, T-Shirt design workshops and mentors exhibition.
‘Effluent Rising’, curated Michelle Armistead (Blue Oyster Gallery) at the Fishbowl, New Plymouth.
‘One place after another’, curated by Bruce E Phillips at the Fishbowl,
‘The Fishbowl’, as a drawing work by Justin Jade Morgan first Fishbowl show
Designer Katrina Jobsis, Graduate Fashion show at Western Institute of Technology (W.I.T.T) New Plymouth.
Opened space in 2006 hosted the following exhibitions:
‘Seven left, one right’, 110 Devon Street, New Plymouth
‘Distorted’, 110 Devon Street, New Plymouth
‘Expose’ (New Plymouth Girls High School), 110 Devon Street, New Plymouth
‘Faces of God’ (Russell fleet). 110 Devon Street, New Plymouth
Draw ‘n’, 110 Devon Street, New Plymouth
Six emerging artists from the North Island that deal with drawing as a process tool and final outcome.
‘Local’, 110 Devon Street, New Plymouth
A range of work form eight Taranaki artists.
‘JustArt’ Website Relaunch party, 110 Devon Street, New Plymouth
Featuring the work of 12 emerging artists form Taranaki.
‘Mock’, 110 Devon Street, New Plymouth
Taranaki Arts Fest ‘In Neutral Corners’ Devon Street, New Plymouth
Between 2002 – early 2008 JustArt supported over 100 students, emerging and mid-career artists as well as sponsored and promoted other groups and shows around New Zealand.
Below is a brief list of artists and groups that were supported by JustArt:
Blax13, Bella, Erica Sklenars, Jarad Ferris,
Dianne West , Jodi West, Chris Wells, Carl Fox,
Phame one, Jill Leahy, Steven Komene,
Tracey Armstead, Wayne Roberts, Valerie,
Tabitha Williams, Rachel Williams, Kellie Mills, Todd Williams, Veronica Green, Bronwyn Smith, Eleazar Manutai Bramley,
Mark Parkinson, Sarah Royal, Dale Copeland, Greg Sharp,
Bruce E Phillips,Virtual Tart, RealTart Gallery, Paul Hutchinson,
Jo Massey, Claire Tate, Morgan Hammond, Bruce West,
Matt Dowman, Anna Blackburn, Mark Boswell, Rachel Morris,
AD. ONE, Erin Forsyth, Gasp, Jamie Nelson,
Otistik (Mephisto Jones) Toni West, Andrew Black, Kim Greig,
Sean Hotter, Meesh, Lana Sklenars, Kareen Hillenaar,
Sheree Arden, Lisa Lovell, Melissa Turner, Kevin Betteridge,
Russell Fleet, Selah Design (Clothing),
Lounge sweet (Jazz band), Rise&Shine (Art collective).
New Plymouth Girls High School Art Students,
New Plymouth Girls High School Students
Taranaki Secondary School Art Teachers,
The W.I.T.T 3rd Year Bachelor of Visual Arts Graduate Exhibition
The opening of FishBowl in New Plymouth.
TFAT – Youth Fest, 2008
JustArt would like to thank the following companies, groups and individuals for their support during this time.
The North Taranaki Community Arts Council
Jabeau Hair Design
The Most FM
The Western Institute Of Technology
Liquor King – New Plymouth
The Govett Brewster Art Gallery
Jeremy Thompson and the Waimera Farms Partnership
Empire Tea rooms
Egmont Gallery and Framing
Big Image Print
Platform 01 – Hamilton
Artstudio crew – The Mount
Zeal – New Plymouth
Jabeau Hair Design – Robyn O’Sullivan
North Taranaki Midweek
Taranaki Daily News
Bay of Plenty Times
Sky TV Diary
It was with this great support that JustArt was able to be open to all opportunities and to be able to provide a base, which saw it exhibit in many varied environments from empty shops to regional galleries. Thus allowing the public and the artists different levels of interaction and involvement thank you to you all.
JustArt continued to maintain its presence due to the open lines of communication and the direct approach of honest activity, which as Morgan was once quoted …”is fundamental to the building blocks of a creative community”.
As this history of sorts is brought to a close, Justart would like to save the last words for the public and the artists as it is your passion and pride for the arts and the community that makes it all truly happen. Thank you sincerely for all of your time and commitment.