Arts Show Debunks Myths

If you don’t know much about art but you know what you like,The Arty Farty Hour on Otago Access Radio might be just the show for you.

Programme hosts and local artists Ron Esplin and Andy Cook are keen to debunk commonly held myths around engaging with the art world, including that it is for experts only.

“We need to keep this art business user friendly,” said Mr Cook, owner-operator of Dunedin art supplies shop Art Zone.

“I know a lot of people are intimidated. They think that only professional artists are allowed to paint, and that’s not true. What we talk about on the show helps to ease people into it, especially if they are just starting out.”

The Arty Farty Hour blends profiles of leading artists with discussion on technique and materials, accompanied by music that is either art-themed or performed by recording artists who also dabble in other art forms.

Mr Esplin launched the show in 2013, keen to provide a voice for the Dunedin art community in local media. The on-air partnership with Mr Cook began some time later, when a one-off guest appearance fired an engaging on-air rapport built on shared discovery, laughter and plenty of good-natured ribbing.

“I admire Andy’s work and that’s a great catalyst for our discussion,” he said.

“I tend to focus on watercolour painting and Andy on oils. It’s a lifelong occupation and I originally thought that once I had the hang of it, I’d move on. I now know that you never do.”

Much of the programme was well researched but unscripted, said Mr Cook.

“We have this mutual interest in arts and one thing leads to another. For me, it’s just a really interesting conversation.

“I’d be here, even if the mics weren’t on.”

Fortnightly programme The Arty Farty Hour  airs Saturdays at 1pm on OAR FM Dunedin 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from

Photo: Perfectly framed: Andy Cook (left) and Ron Esplin are hosts of The Arty Farty Hour on Otago Access Radio.