MAG ART: Sarah Lane and Andy Taylor with some of the images that have made Plenty magazine a success. Image supplied

EASTERN Bay magazine Plenty is marking its birthday with an exhibition in the gallery where it began.

After 840 pages and nearly 250,000 words, the magazine that wasn’t supposed to last six months is celebrating its fourth birthday with an exhibition and series of events at Te Koputu a te Whanga a Toi – Whakatane library and exhibition centre.

Plenty magazine co-founders Andy Taylor and Sarah Lane held the launch party for Plenty in early 2016 at Te Koputu, and celebrated their first year in print there as well. “So it’s nice to be back marking our upcoming fourth birthday,” Andy says.

“The best part is that we are co-operating on an exhibition that essentially takes what the magazine does and carries it a bit further.

Plenty set out to shine a light on the talented people we have in this part of the world, which is a vision we share with Te Koputu. We have always tried to do things a bit differently and tell the stories that fly under the radar, so when the idea of putting what the magazine does into a gallery space came up, we thought it worked perfectly.”

Andy says Plenty has always been about telling the real stories of the region – the heroes and heroines, the good, the bad and the ugly.

“So giving that material some time up in a public gallery makes sense. We’re surrounded by so much media noise that is negative or has an agenda, so we think it’s great we can team up with Te Koputu to help celebrate or revisit some of the stories that make up what we are,” he says.

The Plenty exhibition opens on Saturday, July 6 in the Sheaff Gallery. It will showcase some of the magazine’s pages, and floor talks and workshops by some of the creative talents featured in the publication.

“The exhibition is a best of from the pages of Plenty,” Sarah says. “Although there were too many great people to fit in, so we ended up having to leave out some of our favourites. But that’s pretty much the story of Plenty – we were warned early on there wouldn’t be enough people worth writing about in the Eastern Bay and we’re glad to have proved that prediction wrong.”

Te Koputu a te Whanga a Toi Curator Exhibitions Sarah Hudson says it’s exciting to be able to highlight local people with talent and go-getting attitudes. “This exhibition is an inspirational example of what can be achieved when you follow your passion.”