From an organic event conceived and organised by a small group of local artists in 2006, Mercury Bay Art Escape Artists Open Studios has grown into a showcasing of Mercury Bay’s outstanding artistic and cultural diversity for both local residents and the greater New Zealand art community. An increasing number of the many visitors make an annual visit to the Open Studios and member artists are always happy to receive calls for an appointment at other times of the year.
A trust was formed in 2011 and its success has seen countless volunteers, coordinators, trust members and sponsors put their creativity, passion and commitment into its continuing growth. The Trustees’ backgrounds include business, accounting, administration and member artists.The mission statement sums up the purpose of the trust: To promote and develop the growth of the visual arts in the Mercury Bay Area and the wider Coromandel Peninsula.
The Art Escape Open Studios over the first two weekends in March has long been a draw card for the eastern Coromandel Peninsula and has raised the profile not only of the visual arts but of Whitianga township itself. The murals throughout the town were a project run by Mercury Bay Art Escape for the Tuia 250 commemorations in 2019.
The collaborative aspect of membership in Art Escape has attracted new artists as residents and consequently brought a real economic boost to the creative sector of Mercury Bay. Membership is restricted to the area from Pauanui/Hikuai in the south to Matapaua in the north with a variety of media including sculpture, pottery, painting, printmaking and glass art and you must be a resident, have property or have a genuine connection to the area.
The call for new artists to join the 2023 membership is open now. We would love to include more artists.
Details can be found on the website mercurybay-artescape.com, the Mercury Bay Art Escape Facebook page and their Instagram page.