HONG KONG tourist Shiila Takaoka made an impromptu stop at Sofitel Resort and Spa, Nadi, last Friday and was pleasantly surprised to find an arts display underway at the resort's gallery.
And she got more than the strokes of the brush when was introduced to local artist Aseri Yabakivou.
"You can't imagine my surprise and delight when I was told that the artist who painted the picture I bought in August was here," Ms Takaoka exclaimed.
"It is of a parrot fish and it hangs from the middle of my living room.
"I love the colours and while it might be a small piece, it has a lot of energy and reminds me about the marine life in Fiji."
Mr Yabakivou said he was glad that the work he was doing was touching people's lives.
His paintings, themed around the upcoming Melbourne Cup, was among many showcased at Sofitel through Claire-Diane's Tokani Arts.
"It is humbling to know that I can contribute to promoting Fiji through my painting.
"And I was also glad to have made the sale because making a living as an artist is not easy.
"In fact, I sometimes have to resort to other activities like fishing, just to earn enough for my family," the 38-year-old Waiyavi, Lautoka, resident said.
Mr Yabakivou said without the kind generosity of Tokani Art and Sofitel Fiji, local artists would not get opportunities to display and sell their pieces to a wide and varied group of art lovers.
Jeremy Walsh, the resorts executive assistant manager said supporting local artists was a way of giving back to the community.