Plan a trip to the eastern Coromandel over the first two weekends of March (3-4 and 10-11 March) to enjoy visiting the studios of the Mercury Bay Art Escape’s talented artists.
The area from Tairua, Whenuakite, Cooks Beach, Hahei, Hot Water Beach through to Whitianga and Kuaotunu is well known for its immense artistic talent. The Open Studios weekends provide the opportunity to interact with the artists in their creative space and to visit galleries, soak up coastal scenery and enjoy the cafes, breweries and wineries in the area. With 35 member artists, including three art groups, they present a wide range of media, including woodwork, pottery, sculpture, harakeke weaving, hand forged knives, lamp worked glasswork, mosaics, painting, photography, pottery and printmaking.
TJ McNamara, the well-known NZ Herald art reviewer will be the guest speaker at the Gala Opening of the Mercury Bay Art Escape Showcase Exhibition on Friday, 2 March. All of Art Escape’s 45 members will be exhibiting. The exhibition will run until Easter Monday.
On each Saturday of the Open Studios weekends there will be a showing of a film on the life and work of artist Michael Smither. This is a special compilation by director Tony Hiles of key moments from the nearly completed documentary series 2009–2019 Michael Smither: The Next Ten Years. Another highlight event will be a free outdoor art workshop with well-known sculptor Chris Charteris building sculptures on Buffalo Beach on Saturday, 3 March.
For details for the Open Studios and tickets for events go to mercurybayartescape.com. The free Artist Guide is available on-line as well as at the artists’ studios, galleries and i-SITES on the Coromandel Peninsula — and in Auckland at Artis Gallery in Parnell and Studio One on Ponsonby Road. This comprehensive Art Guide is free and designed for year round use.