PREPARATIONS have begun to select artists from Fiji to represent the country at the 11th Pacific Arts Festival in the Solomon Islands in July.
Auditions began in earnest last night with 13 artists and seven clothes designers showing their work for judges at the Suva Civic Centre.
Fiji Arts Council director Laisiasa Veikoso said those selected to represent Fiji at the arts festival would get the chance to develop their skills even further.
"When these artists represent Fiji on the regional stage they will be able to participate and share ideas with artists not only in their genres but others as well," he said.
Mr Veikoso said it would be a chance for them to see what other artists in the Pacific were doing while at the same time they would be gaining exposure.
"There are international designers that come down to the Pacific Arts Festival and they are often looking for that one garment or painting to showcase on an international level," he said.
Mr Veikoso said the festival also allowed artists to rediscover the passion for their work and be reinspired.
"Some times artists get to a point where they are discouraged and they don't see their art taking them places.
"But then they go to the Pacific Arts Festival and are surrounded by so many inspiring artists and works of art and this makes a difference for them."
Mr Veikoso said there were new and returning artists all auditioning their art for a place on the Fiji delegation to the festival.
Designers auditioning last night included Lambert Ho, Selai Busala, Sanita Vu and Samu Cabe.
Traditional and contemporary dance groups will audition today hoping to secure a place in the contingent that will represent Fiji.