Living with art

Whether you make art, collect art, use it as a finishing touch to a home stage or renovation or simply enjoy attending exhibitions, art has a significant role to play in our everyday lives.

Jade Bentley of Art Associates talks about living and working with art and what motivates her to be deeply engaged in this world of creativity.

During Jade's third year of her Bachelor of Fine Arts she worked part time at Art Associates which was set up in Grey Lynn in the 80s by Jeanne Walters and Deborah White. Upon completion of her four-year degree she went on to work full time for Jeanne and Deborah.

Jade, now a permanent fixture at Art Associates, is proud of the service they provide. Whilst leasing art forms a major part of their service offering, for Jade there is a deep sense of connectedness to the artists.

“My relationship with the artists is one of the best parts of what I do,” says Jade. “We have many local Ponsonby and Grey Lynn artists in our stock room and each for their unique reasons and to name a few wouldn’t be enough.

“What I also love about my work is the element of surprise when you take a piece of art to a client that they never would have considered! It’s very satisfying to show them something different and you can have fun with mixing modern art with old architectural styles and traditional art with contemporary/modern architecture.

“Art influences different aspects of people’s lives, in a number of ways. The emotional connection is often quite significant when art is hung in a person’s home; it is up close and personal. It creates a point of interest or conversation and the reaction can trigger good or bad memories, publicity or intention; either way the reaction to art is in the eye of the beholder.”

Jade’s drive and ambition means Art Associates provides almost everything under the contemporary art umbrella. She enjoys client consultations, equally she thrives on the challenge to help find artwork for new collectors and curate installations of existing art collections. She says that often the real challenge is to ‘find' walls for more artworks or updating pieces for a better fit.

Her vision to develop a space for artists came to fruition this year with the recent opening of The Grey Place - the new art space in Grey Lynn. It’s a gallery area for exhibitions, pop-up installations, curated shows and art projects for local, national and international creatives to use, to show their works or have artists’ talks.

Jade intends to continue to promote new artists and represent their artworks to a range of clientele from corporate, domestic, hospitality and film using online exposure via the Art Associates website and social media platforms. (JOANNE BARRETT)