When Arlo Edwards approached an art dealer with his work at the age of eighteen, the dealer told him to “come back in 10 years, and then maybe we’ll look at your work”.

Not content with such a response, Arlo embarked on a somewhat unorthodox curatorial career, and has been putting on exhibitions when and wherever he could for more than a decade.

Toi Pōneke Gallery is the next venue for one of his projects, an exhibition of work by 10 local established and emerging artists. The show, entitled In the Museum of Curious Intent, includes work by Chris Lundquist, Freeman White, William Hedley, James Flynn, Jaymi Bizzo Lawrence, Roger Morris, Marianne Muggeridge, Gareth Moon, Rupert Everest and some of Arlo’s own work.

In the Museum of Curious Intent opens at 6.30pm on Friday 26 September and runs until 25 October at Toi Pōneke Gallery, 61 – 63 Abel Smith Street.

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Arlo takes pride in the look and feel of an exhibition, and will put his all into making the launch of the exhibition (26 September) a night to remember. He says the gallery will be lit for a darkened setting, complimented by red velvet curtains, extraordinary installations and a rich accompaniment of sound.

“I want make a show that looks like a million dollars on $20,” he says. “By incorporating lots of different mediums including painting, photography, installation and robotics, this show will have something for everyone.”

“I know it is not really the done thing to include some of your own work in a show, but to be honest, I have never gone by the institutional book when it comes to curatorial work,” he says.

Arlo says that the culmination of emerging artists and established artists, some of whom have won the prestigious Adam Portraiture Award, will present a great opportunity for them to experience the joy of being part of a collaborative community – one that will hopefully draw all sorts of people to the gallery – from frequent gallery visitors to the not-so-frequent.

“I will be at the gallery for the duration of the exhibition as much as possible, so if somebody wants to know the meaning of a pile of ashes sitting in the corner of the gallery, for example, they will be able to ask someone about it and become more engaged in the exhibition,” he says.

“It’s all part of what I love to do. If it’s not making art – it’s encouraging others to create and exhibit, and also encouraging the whole community to enjoy it.”

In the Museum of Curious Intent
27 September to 25 October
Toi Pōneke Gallery
61 – 63 Abel Smith Street
Opening celebration: 6.30pm on Friday 26 September