Friday Feb 21st 2014: Studio tour.
Art at the Heart of The Heads
Whangarei Heads Artists were delighted to take the opportunity of meeting their new Mayor, Sheryl Mai and Deputy Mayor, Sharon Morgan who, along with local councilor Greg Innes, Chris Carey of CHART and Whangarei Tourism Manager Paul Davis, took the time to visit several studios on The Heads and see how and where some of the unique local art featured in the Whangarei Heads Arts Trail is created .
Their visit included, Newday Cafe where resident artist Natalie Tate works on a regular basis bridging the gap between studio and community and bringing Art into everyday life; Nook Pottery, where local photographers Alan Squires, Shelly Linehan and Adrienne Dietrich exhibited photographs featuring local scenes and locations, David Foley showed water colours from life and potters Allen Jowitt and Sheila Blackburn explained the progress of clay from pug mill to glazed ware; Rawkos designs where Lucy Bilyard and Sharon Tate showed an amazing selection of work reflecting both traditional ethnic design and stunning new creations featuring local flora and fauna and lastly Culina Glass where Justin Culina demonstrated hot glass work and Gabrielle Ashton showed hand made jewellery that caught the attention of all of the ladies.
It was a fascination morning and Mayor Sheryl Mai summed up the importance of Art on Whangarei Heads when she spoke of it as a symbiosis of 'hearts and Heads'.
Arts Trail committee member Sheila Blackburn said, 'We are absolutely delighted to have such strong support from our council. As a group we are working hard to expand Whangarei Heads Arts Trail from a two day event into a year round vibrant part of Whangarei's art scene.
Supporting arts enterprise is not only important to the artists themselves but has many positive benefits for the whole community. Hopefully it is this sort of 'green', low environmental impact art development, fostering the work of small art/business and studio working all over The Heads, that will help keep the peninsular a place where residents can work as well as rest and play and where visitors will return not only to buy art but to enjoying the location that inspired it and hopefully to learn how to create their own.
Whangarei Heads Arts Trail runs on Easter weekend each year. This year's event is 19th & 20th April www.whangareiheadsartstrail.org.nz
Photographs by Alan Squires