Port Waikato’s most underrated feature is arguably its impressive art scene.
A tapestry of sun, sea, and sand, Port Waikato, New Zealand holds a beguiling charm for visitors. But while it is easy to get overwhelmed by its rugged natural beauty and lose oneself in the flurry of fun, this sun-soaked town has several other surprises up its sleeve. One of these is the place’s throbbing and thriving art scene. If you are an admirer of art or
even a bit of an artist yourself, Port Waikato has plenty to have you engaged and enthralled.
Read on to discover more about what is arguably Port Waikato’s best-kept secret!
Art Events & Galleries in Port Waikato
Events exhibiting Art at Port Waikato may not be as frequent or glamorous as those in big cities! Nonetheless, they showcase a relatively diverse assortment of Art, evidencing the abundance of local artistic talent in town.
Art Weekend Port Waikato: The Open Studio Art Trail at Sunset Beach, Port Waikat,o is a one-of-a-kind event that sees local artists open up their art studios to share their working lives as artists with the broader community.
While most art events take place in a display of artworks, the Open Studio Art Trail gives visitors a rare glimpse of how artists work their way through their creations. You can take a look at the tools that help them fashion their works, smudge paint on a piece of paper, knead a lump of clay, or even strike up a conversation with any of the artists to understand what drives them!
The Open Studio event is on the second weekend of November every year. Coffee, ice cream, and other refreshments are available in case you feel like a grub break.
Art @ the Port Festival: A festival that celebrates and showcases community art, Art @ the Port is another unique art event embedded in Port Waikato’s local culture. This bi-annual festival that takes place during the Easter and Labour weekends at the bucolic Brasell’s Woolshed is an exuberant affair that includes displays of Art and crafts, offerings of tasty food, and an array of children’s activities.
With stalls and gazebos across the paddock exhibiting an astonishing variety of creations from ‘painting topickles’, the fete gives you a real taste and feel of thevibranth world of local community art at Port Waikato. The promotion of community art also manifests in the creation of an Art @ the Port calendar every year. Brought out with the help of submissions from local artists, the calendar is a compilation of images – humorous, quirky, and mesmerizing – celebrating the beauty of Port Waikato and its people.
The Art @ the Port Easter Festival is all set to be held this Easter weekend ,on 8th April 2023. So be there for Art’s (and fun’s) – sake!
Pampas and Pine Art Gallery: The recently opened Pampas and Pine Art Gallery in Port Waikato is a small butextraordinaryl art gallery showcasing the work of artists and creators locally and from across New Zealand. A testament to the creativity of Kiwi artists in general and local artists in particular, the gallery stocks a wide variety of items, from handmade tables and framed local photographs to ceramic dinnerware.
Noteworthy New Zealand Artists from Jimmy James Kouratoras to Grace Thresher
TSeveralbudding and successful artists in and around Port Waikato care reating all kinds of stunning artworks. Here are a few names.
Jimmy James Kouratoras: A painter, sculptor, and printmaker, James is an Auckland-based visual artist who has earned critical acclaim at home and internationally for his unique depiction of contemporary culture. The People’s Choice Award winner at the 2016 Brisbane Contemporary Art Prize, Jimmy James Kouratoras’ artworks reflect and consciously draw upon his Māori roots. In particular, his indigenous cultural and spiritual heritage comes through in his work. Imbued with this narrative of whakapapa, his creations – vivid, vibrant, layered, and loaded – speak of current socio-political concerns, even as they throb with a shared social consciousness, naturally exuding Aroha.
Robin Ranga: Specializing in painting, ceramics, and sculpture, Port Waikato-based Robin Ranga was one of the three New Zealand artists in 2016 to be invited by the Director of Moonlight Gallery, Auckland, to visit and exhibit at the Nongyuan International Arts Village in Chengdu, China. The last half decade has seen her give visual representation to the plight of the oppressed and marginalised the world over, sparking awareness and empathy to foster better understanding between conflicting ideologies. Robin’s clay figures are a metaphor for the organic: fragile yet durabl,; strong and malleable.
Grace Thresher: An artist, designer, and events coordinator living and working from her home studio in Port Waikato, Grace first exhibited at the Lake House Arts Centre in 2013. She has subsequently had her work on display at Corban Estate Arts Centre and Open Table Café in Ellerslie. She attends Art @ the Port and contributes to the Art Weekend at Port Waikato. Inspired by the infinite splendours of nature, her intricately detailed works are brought to life using pen, pencil, photographic manipulation, paint, and collage.
Whether it is the sea and sun that beckon you or the art scene at Port Waikato that tempts you,visitingo this idyllic beach town is a must for the city-weary. Port Waikato’s proximity to Auckland and Hamilton makes it an excellent weekend retreat for solo travellers, couples, and families. So book your stay at the Port Waikato Holiday Par,k and you are sure to head back home, haler and heartier than ever before!