The Franklin Arts Festival Committee would like to celebrate two of our most dedicated and longstanding members. The festival owes a huge debt of gratitude to Pat Holden and Mary Coleman for their outstanding contribution and loyal patronage to the arts in Franklin. Between 2014 and 2019, with Pat and Mary at the helm, the festival enjoyed a time of encouraging growth and success.

With Pat as President, and Mary as Secretary they formed the mainstays of the festival committee and guided the ship with passion, good humour, and a lot of hard work. We also owe huge thanks to Jean Holden, and Trevor Coleman for their support along the way.

On behalf of the committee past and present, our volunteers, the contributing artists, and the thousands who visited the festival over the last 5 years, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Pat and Mary for their huge efforts. Of course we will still see Pat and Mary at the festival, but with more time on their hands to enjoy the artworks. We pressed them for a few words...

Notes from Pat

Three years ago, the festival received two visitors from Whangamata. Standing in the town hall balcony looking down at the exhibition one said to Mary ‘this is marvelous’.  And it was. I thought of all those helpers whose effort culminated in the show spread out below us, half here, half in the gallery a roll call would be long. What counts is the readiness of more than a hundred individuals to help. It is a fine community effort and the good ripples out.

The artists in so many disciplines whose works are displayed show their appreciation by entering in ever increasing numbers and by coming back year after year. The Franklin Arts Festival Society has been graced by the judges who have adjudicated and no one section of the festival has monopolised the supreme award.  

Our patrons return too. They love the diversity within the festival and the effort to foster fresh art forms. They love the in house café and come from far and near. The worth of the festival to Franklin is clear. Coordinating it is a great labour of love. The Franklin Arts Festival Society has found fine committee members and outstanding office holders. None more so than Mary Coleman, our retiring secretary; methodical, orderly and energetic she has charted the Franklin Arts Festival Society admirably. The future for the festival is promising.

Notes from Mary

Over the past few years the Franklin Arts Festival Society has been lucky in having a great basically the same committee giving continuity and structure. They have had ideas which have improved systems and presented a fantastic show for the artists and public. New members have joined and melded in with ideas and effort. It has been a privilege to work with such an enthusiastic group with President Pat Holden keeping us calm and carrying on.

After all the preparation I enjoy meeting the artists as they bring in their work.  Many returning year after year. It is a delight to see their work and the changes they have made. It gives us a real buzz to be told this is their favorite Festival – we are doing something good! It is wonderful to see artists who first entered as a youth artist, still contributing in the adult sections. It is also lovely to see first time artists bringing their treasured work with a degree of uncertainty and then seeing their delight when it is exhibited in the Festival.

The buzz of opening night with the glamorous pipe band serving wine and nibbles, the pleasure in greeting our sponsors, the surprise on the faces of prize winners – it’s magic!

After all the hard work – you just don’t know how much – we are on a roll, and oh boy it’s worth it!

Without our artists, sponsors and especially support from the Franklin Local Board the Franklin Arts Festival would be nothing. It has been an enriching experience to be part of the Festival. I plan to be involved as a supporter and artist for many more years.