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Sophie Paterson and Charlotte Sherratt

Visual Arts

Neighbourhood Series: An Interview with the Co-Founders of The Creators’ Room

In an effort to salvage the incredible artwork created by secondary school students and dissipate some of the barriers young artists often face, art enthusiasts Sophie Paterson and Charlotte Sherratt co-founded The Creators’ Room in 2018.

After attending secondary school together in Christchurch, pursuing their respective undergraduate studies and spending some time travelling overseas, Sophie and Charlotte found themselves back in Ōtautahi with a desire to do something in the creative space.

They’ve both been interested in art for as long as they can remember and hold a huge amount of respect for the creative minds behind it. While sifting through some of their old artwork from secondary school one day, they began thinking about the incredible pieces that either end up in the school skip or untouched deep inside a garage for decades. 

This realisation and their idea to support students in taking the leap to publicly showcase their amazing artwork is what propelled Sophie and Charlotte to launch The Creators’ Room – a free programme that enables secondary school students throughout Ōtautahi to connect directly with a community of collectors and sell some of their artwork.

Every year, entries open up to Senior Visual Art students from all secondary schools in Canterbury. The artwork from the selected pool of candidates is made available to the community through an online marketplace as well as an exhibition which is held in September every year. Along with upfront financial support for each artist, The Creators’ Room awards one student with a $3,000 scholarship every year to help them further pursue their artistic career.

Sophie and Charlotte agree that one of the most rewarding parts since the inception of the programme has been dealing with the students, seeing their reactions and giving them a platform to present their work on a professional level. “It’s also been amazing to watch how the students express themselves as well as some of the personal challenges that they are experiencing through art” said Sophie. “Art is a form of therapy and has helped so many students unleash certain feelings and foster their thought processing in a really healthy way.”

While the programme is currently only available in the Canterbury region, Sophie and Charlotte’s aim is to bring this opportunity to all secondary schools in Aotearoa in the upcoming years. 

You can head over to www.thecreatorsroom.co.nz to learn more about The Creators’ Room and shop the curated collection of original and limited edition prints by some amazing students. 

Neighbourhood Picks

Both born and raised in Ōtautahi, Sophie and Charlotte have spent a ton of time exploring the city and know some of the best local spots. As part of our neighbourhood series, they shared a few of their favourite places and spaces to visit within Christchurch’s city centre.

Favourite meeting space
We held our exhibition at The Welder in 2020 and absolutely love the venue. They’ve done such a great job repurposing the old industrial building into an inviting space that feels like an urban oasis.
Best boutique
Infinite Definite is hands down our favourite clothing boutique in Christchurch. The owners Jono and Sarah are wonderful and source such a great selection of clothes from the trendiest brands.
Go to gallery
It’s tough to narrow it down to one, but we’d probably have to pick the Christchurch Art Gallery. We both love the Te Wheke exhibition – it’s ever-evolving and the scale of the works are breathtaking.
Greatest cafe
We love Bunsen – a cute cafe located inside the clock tower building of the Arts Centre. Lux Espresso is another one of our favourites. They’ve got great coffee and delicious nourish bowls.
Favourite place
The collection of heritage buildings in the city’s art centre is such a treasured space that really represents the culture and creativity in Christchurch. New Regent Street is also a special spot.
Local artist
We recently discovered Callum Pankhurst’s work which is really incredible. Kara Burrowes is another Christchurch-based artist that we’re big fans of. She makes some beautiful multimedia work.
Spread the love in Ōtautahi by supporting local.

This series is brought to you by our Creative and Digital Partner, Publica.

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