The ever-popular Mercury Bay Art Escape Open Studio weekends are held every year over the first 2 weekends in March and draw many art-loving visitors to the stunning coastal area of Mercury Bay on the Eastern Coromandel Peninsula. This stunning self-drive art tour includes Hikuai, Tairua, Hahei, Hot Water Beach, Cooks Beach, Whenuakite, Whitianga, Kuaotunu, Rings Beach and Opito Bay. Coupled with world-class scenery, eateries and wineries and it is a great opportunity to stay and enjoy art.
Mercury Bay Art Escape artists include potters, sculptors, painters, printmakers, photographers, weavers, woodworkers, mosaic artists, jewellers, a glass artist and a furniture maker. There are six new artists in the 2019 event making a total of 36 artists and 3 art groups opening up their studios and creative spaces across the Eastern Coromandel area. Studios are open 10am to 4pm on 2nd, 3rd ,9th and 10th March and entry to visit artists is of course free.
While viewing their latest artworks take the time to meet the artists and talk with them about their ideas and how they work, giving you greater insight and understanding of art and creative practices
In addition to the 2019 Open Studio weekends on March 2-3 and March 9-10, and to commemorate this special occasion, we have the pleasure to bring you an expanded format with a week of exciting events.
These include the Gala Opening (Friday night 1st March), Showcase Exhibition (from 1 March - 22 April), Chasing Mercury Art Workshops (4-8 March) and a community street art festival organised specifically for the national Tuia - Encounters 250 commemoration (4-8 March) a Summer Showcase Concert with the Whitianga Music Club (8th March). We also see the return of renowned artist Chris Charteris who will be offering the opportunity to work collaboratively with him to create a large-scale sculpture.
2019 is a special one with the national Tuia – Encounters 250 celebration which has a particular resonance in Te Whanganui a Hei (Mercury Bay) was one of four landing sites for Cook’s ship The Endeavour in 1769.
Tuia 250 Street Art Festival
A community street art festival organised by Mercury Bay Art Escape specifically for the national Tuia - Encounters 250 commemoration will take place in Whitianga during the week between the annual Art Escape Open Studio events. The project will include Mercury Bay Art Escape artists including their patron Artist Michael Smither and popular street artists from the Coromandel, Auckland and Hamilton including renowed street artists Charles and Janine Williams. The murals will reflect the themes of “First Encounters” or of “Navigation” to tie in with the new-look Whitianga townscape.
This brand new series of fun art workshops for the public is taking place in Whitianga from 4th to 8th March 2019, in between our ever-popular Mercury Bay Art Escape Open Studio weekends. Featuring Mercury Bay ArtEscape Artists and Guest Artists as tutors.
The selection of fun art workshops held from March 4 to 8th include:
Art Escape tutors:
Ian Preece - Photography
Paula McNeill - Mixographic and Collagraphs.
Raewyn Hildreth - Flax Weaving
Wendy Walls - Mixed Media.
For tickets to the Gala Opening, Michael Smither Film Evenings and details for the Artists’ Open Studios go to www.mercurybayartescape.com