First pARTner Up artist mentoring programme ends with a ‘Flourish’

Since July 2020, a group of Thames-Coromandel based creatives have been mentored by established artists as part of the new arts initiative from Creative Coromandel, pARTner Up. 


pARTner UP’s aim is to share the knowledge and inspiration that supports creatives to make that very personal, and often quite daunting transition from ‘good’ to ‘great’ - by connecting artists with artists. 


To celebrate the success of the region’s first artist mentoring programme, Creative Coromandel is inviting the general public to attend ‘Flourish’ on Saturday 20 March or Sunday 21 March at Hauraki House in Coromandel Town. 


‘Flourish’ will include an art exhibition featuring new work from the visual artist mentees; Heather Watt, Jackie Francis, Tyler Downey, Deborah Hide-Bayne, Elisabeth Carter and Amy Rogers, and performances from the performing artist mentees, Pete Aldrich and Charli McDougall.


Additionally the event will premiere the ‘Flourish’ documentary, a short film featuring insights from pARTner Up mentees.


Seven local artist mentors have been working alongside the mentees over the last nine months; Annie Smits Sandano, Sally Tennent-Brown, Hilary Falconer, Chris Charteris, James Webster, Kelly Harrison and Jacquie Ellis


“The mentors that we selected for pARTner Up are all experienced artists, both visual and performing artists, with a wealth of skills and knowledge,” says Linley Rose, Master Certified Coach and Project Manager of pARTner Up. 


“The mentees we chose are creatives who ultimately want to take their art practice to the next level,” she says. “As a result, some really beautiful mentor-mentee relationships have formed over the course of the programme and ‘Flourish’ will showcase this.” 


Creative Coromandel patrons Michael Smithers and G’ian McGregor also generously gave mentoring time to each participant, inviting mentees to visit their home to talk through their aspirations.


As the go-to arts hub for the Thames-Coromandel District, Creative Coromandel is fully committed to supporting local creatives to reach their full potential, and pARTner Up did just that. 


“Being involved in pARTner Up has been amazing,” says visual artist and mentee, Deborah Hide-Bayne. “I’ve moved out of my comfort zone and I feel like I’ve been challenged and encouraged in equal measure. Having people with such mana take an interest in me and my work has been an honour. I feel motivated to keep making work and to show it to a wider audience.”


Jan Wright, Chair of He Mana Toi Moehau Trust/Creative Coromandel is thrilled with the success of pARTner Up.


“It’s been really great to see our mentees learn new skills, be inspired and gather invaluable knowledge and self-awareness from a group of local and talented artists.”


“This first pARTner Up programme has been a success, and we’re excited to continue with more programmes like it,” she says. “We encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about being either a mentor or mentee for the next intake, to come along to ‘Flourish’ for a chat or get in touch with us.” 


The Creative Coromandel team would like to acknowledge the funding support of Creative New Zealand and Pub Charity Ltd for enabling the pARTner Up programme and the ‘Flourish’ event. 


For more information about ‘Flourish’ or Creative Coromandel, visit their website , follow them on Facebook or Instagram or contact them on


Key Details: 


Opening Event + Documentary Premiere: Sat 20 March, 1:30pm 

Exhibition open: Sat 20 March, 1pm - 5pm & Sun 21 March, 10am - 3pm

Where: Hauraki House, Kapanga Road, Coromandel Town 

Cost: Free, all welcome


Article published 10 March 2021

Contact info:

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