A Southland woman is in the process of establishing an art gallery in Athol, which will feature local and national New Zealand artists.
Formerly the site of Stu's World Famous Fly Fishing Shop, the Athol Gallery is planned for completion in December, featuring a selection of New Zealand and Southland art on display along with an artist-in-residence.
Owner Karen Soundy said art was in her blood.
"My brother [Kevin Stevenson] had an art gallery for 15 years," says Karen. "The whole family is arty, we've always followed it."
She also owns Your Saving Grace - a private service that offers caregiving in-home help and companionship in the Queenstown Lakes region to senior and elderly residents, but said the gallery was her passion.
"I'll still have the other business but this is my baby," she adds.
Stu's old shop has been retained and relocated to the other side of the existing carpark while a new gallery building is being constructed on the vacated fishing shop site.
Mrs Soundy said they hoped to have the build completed by December this year.
The gallery will feature all New Zealand art, "hopefully mostly southern Southland art".
Mrs Soundy said artists like Peter Beadle, John Crump and Roderick Hall would all be featured at the gallery that would have landscape paintings as well as sculptures.
"It's all very exciting… we'll have a bit of everything."
The gallery will foster art among the public by hosting workshops during the winter months, with tutelage from successful artists, and an Athol Gallery Landscape of the Year Award is also in the works.
"We're trying to promote southern art," Mrs Soundy said.
For further information visit: www.atholgallery.co.nz