Thursday, 16 July 2020


"Ten Days of Art"

The Mercury Bay Art Escape Open Artists Studios offers art lovers the opportunity to explore the creative nature of the Coromandel, from Tairua to Opito Bay, to gain a unique perspective, meet the participating artists, admire their studios and understand something of the relationship each artist has with the Peninsula’s beautiful coast. This year the Open Artists Studios will form part of a full “Ten Days of Art” during the first 10 days of March.

In addition to enjoying a free self-drive art studios tour during the first two weekends in March (Saturday 2 March and Sunday 3 March, and Saturday 9 March and Sunday 10 March) from 10:00am to 4:00pm, you can help make a giant sculpture and take part in a full range of art workshops. You can also marvel at the Tuia 250 Street Art Festival.

The “Ten Days of Art” will be launched at the official opening of the Open Artists Studios on Friday 1 March at 6:00pm at Hot Waves Café in Hot Water Beach. The evening will feature guest speaker and renowned artist Fatu Feu’u ONZM and an exclusive preview of the Mercury Bay Art Escape’s Showcase Exhibition (an exhibition containing an artwork by each of the Art Escape’s member artists). A complimentary glass of Tohu Wines is included, as well as catered nibbles by Hot Waves and live music by local band, Neighbouring Planets. Be quick to book tickets online for this much anticipated event.

Thirty-six Art Escape member artists (among them three new artists) and three art groups will participate in the Open Artists Studios. It’s an opportunity to encounter woodworking, pottery, sculpture, harakeke weaving, glasswork, mosaics, jewellery, painting, photography and printmaking. You’re encouraged to check out the Mercury Bay Art Escape’s free 2019 Art Guide and website ( for all the details.

You will also have the opportunity to work alongside established local sculptor Chris Charteris at the Kuaotunu Town Hall on Sunday 3 March. Chris, with help from the public, will be creating a massive mandala-like indoor sculpture out of 1,000s of ngā tipa (scallop shells).

The mid-week programme from Monday 4 March to Friday 8 March includes the Tuia 250 Street Art Festival in Whitianga. The festival will feature internationally recognised street artists Flox and TrustMe and Charles and Janine Williams, alongside Mercury Bay artists Michael Smither, Monique Rush, Anne Bowden, Peter Nicholson, Dave Fowell and popular street artists from the Coromandel and Hamilton. The festival will highlight the national Tuia - Encounters 250 commemorations. Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Mercury Bay) has great seafaring significance. It is where the great navigator Kupe visited many centuries ago, and in 1769 it was one of four landing sites for Captain Cook’s ship, HM Bark Endeavour. This exciting and free event will allow you to witness 12 new murals painted on walls in the Whitianga CBD. A free guide detailing festival information will be available from the Mercury Bay Art Escape website and the Whitianga i-SITE.

 A range of art workshops will take place during the same time as the Tuia 250 Street Art Festival (Monday 4 March to Friday 8 March). These interactive workshops will cater for all levels of skill and experience, and include photography, flax weaving, painting, mixed media and printmaking. You will be tutored by Mercury Bay Art Escape member artists and invited tutors.

Make sure you make the most of the “Ten Days of Art” from Friday 1 March to Sunday 10 March.


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