For an event that was "a bit of an experiment" Art in the Garden at Lake Tarawera has proved to be a big success.
The community art exhibition and fundraising event, featuring the work of seven Lake Tarawera artists, was held yesterday in Pam and Bob Painter's Spencer Rd front garden.
Under sunny skies and with the sound of classical music floating around the garden, more than 300 people enjoyed the art on offer, much to the delight of artist and organiser Mrs Painter.
"It has been an amazing day," she said.
"People have really enjoyed it, it's been great."
From modest beginnings, Mrs Painter and her fellow artists are already thinking about expanding the event next year.
"The first time was a bit of an experiment," she said. "We might have to find a bigger garden next year though."
She said the artists had all sold work, making it a win-win situation for all involved. Entry was by gold coin donation, with proceeds going towards a new fire response truck for the local volunteer station and the community's rat eradication project, started by the late Bob Scopes. Local copper sculptor Brett Bossley, who also exhibited yesterday, plans to make a sculpture in Mr Scopes' memory.
Local photographer Meg Lipscombe said it had been fun to have her photographs on display and have the opportunity to talk to people about them.
"We don't have a gallery in Tarawera so this was a chance to do something and have a go," she said.
"We are extremely thrilled with how it's come out."
Mrs Lipscome said many people had made the trip from Rotorua especially for the show, while there were also plenty of holidaymakers at the lake for the long weekend.
The "tight-knit" permanent community had also got right behind the project, she said.
And with thoughts now turning to next year's Art in the Garden, Mrs Painter said she was looking forward to uncovering more hidden artistic talent among Lake Tarawera residents.