Meet our Artists: Whangamata hosts the Easter Open Studio Trail

There’s not a spot on this beautiful Peninsula of ours that isn’t overflowing with artistic talent, and Whangamata is no exception. 


For the last 4 years, the Arts Collective Whangamata has hosted the Easter Open Studio Trail over the Easter long weekend, an exciting tour of local artists’ studios dotted around the Whangamata region. This year the Trail is extended to include artists from Opoutere and Whiritoa, so you can soak up even more visual arts and explore the area. 


A total of 45 artists will be exhibiting their work for people to view and purchase, via 8 group exhibition ‘Hubs’ and 6 ‘Studios’, with some Hubs also offering live music from local musicians. 


Raranga artist and Trustee for Creative Coromandel, Bernadette (Bernie) Ross is encouraging people of all ages to attend, locals and visitors alike. 


“This is my 4th time participating in the Open Studios Trail, and being together in a “hub” means the artists always learn something new from one another,” explains Bernie. “Meeting the visitors and being able to explain what Raranga is and my own history is also very rewarding.


“There is a wide range of artists showing, so there is always something for everyone,” she says, “Year after year the amount of people coming through is growing, and we hope this year is bigger than ever!”


Bernie isn’t wrong about the huge range of art styles and media on display across the event with this year showcasing ceramics, sculpture, fibre art, weaving, quilting, carving, printmaking, mixed media, fiction-based oil paintings, funky art mannequins, clay mosaic, garden art, painting and drawing. 


Local artist and Committee member of Arts Collective Whangamata, Lynne Robinson has been working hard behind the scenes to bring the Open Studio Trail to life. 


"This is an exciting year for the Easter Open Studio Trail. We were disappointed to have to cancel last year because of Covid and have been pulling out all stops to make this year's event better than ever. We have a record number of 8 Hubs, with 6 more individual studios and in total 45 artists; another record! 


"As organiser, I am delighted to welcome a number of new very versatile artists to the Collective. As well as a vibrant visual art scene, visitors can expect to hear some very cool music on the way with guest musicians. So a very arty couple of days in store."


The 8 Hubs:


Whiritoa Pohutukawa Gallery, 2 Fishermans Bend, Whiritoa 

Jackie Hobbins, Suzanne Butler, Kaetaeta Watson  

Pacific View Hub, 113 Pacfic View Drive

Graeme Smith, Dianna Smith, Rodger Jack, Noel Snook, Linda Bigge  

Artworks Studio, 421 Given Ave  

Nita Petersen, Gaelene Raill, Dianne Dudfield, Ngaire Leighton, Jenny Blomeley  

Whangamata Info Centre

Lynne Robinson, Joanna Mahoney, Lesley Campbell, Claire Fairweather  

The Barber’s Hub, 800 Port Road   

Brad Kukard, Spid Pye, Alyshia Wallis  

Cre-Art Studio, 306 Hetherington Road  

Sue Jaimeson, Janene Hill, Cherry Estcourt, Daphne Inglis, Megan Hannah  

Te Pamahue Hub, 114 Te Pamahue Drive 

Jim Carbery, Denise Carbery, Janice Marshall, Gretha Whyte, Mardi O’Shea  

Art at 129, Moana Anu Anu Ave  

Bernadette Ross, Heather Watt, Maree Burt, Kieran Taylor, Sarah Alves, Nick Tautuhi  


The 6 Studios: 


  • Ted & Jasper Pickett on Kotare St, off Otahu Road
  • Nikky Seales at Wild Essence Studio, 137 McKellar Place
  • Vicki Morris Studio, 410 Ocean Road (open Saturday only)
  • Robin Scott at Redneq Gallery, 169 Durrant Drive
  • Tony Howse and Matt Howse at Kauri Cliff Gallery, 5 Aileen Place
  • Anna Mcleod at The Pottery Shed, 30 Ngahere Terrace


One of the key long-term goals for Arts Collective Whangamata is to provide events for artisans to display their work and talent, and the annual Easter Open Studio Trail does just that. The event provides visitors with an up close and personal look into the artists world, with opportunities to chat with the artists, learn more about their artistic process and purchase artworks. 


Lynne is also proud of the age range of artists who are participating in this year's event, including 3 younger members; Jasper Pickett and Megan Hannah, both photographers and Matt Howse, who creates sculptures from kauri wood in his fathers studio, Kauri Cliff Gallery. 


The Easter Open Studio Trail takes place on Saturday 3 April and Sunday 4 April in Whangamata, Whiritoa and Opoutere, with Hubs and Studios open to the public from 10am - 4pm, except for The Barbers Hub which is open from 12pm - 4pm and Vicki Morris’ Studio which is open Saturday only. 


Visit the Arts Collective Whangamata website to download your copy of the Easter Open Studio Trail map, or grab a hard copy from the Whangamata Information Centre. Stay connected with Arts Collective Whangamata on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest event updates. 



Article published 31 March 2021


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