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Painting Kahlo for a cause brings out Mexican flair in our local politicians
Bay of Plenty Times, Tauranga Bay of Plenty  by Allison Hess
03 Apr 2017
General News - page 2 - 434 words - ID 751177282 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 439.00cm2

Intense concentration was etched on the faces of Tauranga's top politicians as they created works of art in Red Square.

The mayor, a councillor and two MPs showed off their artistic talent in public on Saturday in the name of fundraising.

They were tasked with using pastels to paint a portrait of Frida Kahlo and throw a clay pot.

Mayor Greg Brownless fretted about the rather large nostrils on his Frida Kahlo portrait, Tauranga MP Simon Bridges lightly perspired as he made finishing touches and Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller admitted his Frida's eyes "were a bit of a cock-up".

City councillor Bill Grainger was a wild card entry and was getting all the help he could to throw a pot.

The artworks were to be auctioned off at the Tauranga Sunrise Rotary Club Treasured Art Auction, which raised money for the Graeme Dingle Foundation's Kiwi Can programme.

The Incubator provided the material and plenty of guidance.

Mr Brownless said he was not much of an artist when it came to painting or potting.

"I'm taking it gingerly, while Simon went in bold," Mr Brownless said, eyes glued to his canvas as he delicately tried to make Frida's nostrils less menacing. He did not expect to break any auctioning records with his artwork "although it might break the record for lowest-priced artwork ever sold".

Mr Brownless said it didn't really matter, "it's all for a good cause and I've had a fun time".

Mr Muller said it was an intense activity and required serious concentration.

"I had planned to do a picture of Mauao and was quite confident I could pull it off but I didn't expect we would have to do a portrait of Frida Kahlo." Mr Muller was showing his creative side as he said he loved the way smoothing the pastel changed the texture and softened the painting.

"I've loved doing this today." Rotarian Kathy Webb said the politicians' artwork would join around 60 pieces of top quality art donated to the auction.

"We make quite a bit for Kiwi Can every year - last year we raised $13,000," she said.

Rotarian and The Incubator trustee Ken White said The Incubator wanted to show people art could be for everyone.

Mr White said they would be running boot camps with drawing and pottery for team building.

Find out more at theincubator.co.nz.

Treasured Art Auction Friday May 12 Tickets $20 from Eventfinda

Caption Text:
CONCENTRATE: Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller works on his masterpiece. PHOTOS/ANDREW WARNER
HOW DO THEY LOOK?: Mayor Greg Brownless and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges with their finished portraits.

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