Whanganui Art Trail & Artists Open Studios
I used to frequent Whanganui as a child, roaming Kowhai Park, surfing Morgan Street, swimming at the local school pool and playing on the hill in Cooks Garden. Now that I am all grown up and interested in art, it turns out Whanganui is a whole lot more than I remember.
Its mix of heritage and modernist architecture, river walks, combined with a recent history as a centre of glass artistry, makes it a rewarding place to visit. With the addition of the Sarjeant Gallery it is one of New Zealand’s great regional art destinations.
The art community here is facilitated by affordable housing, artists and professionals returning to the city and a continual turnover of artists visiting the Tylee Cottage residency program. This all creates a very vibrant arts scene. A great time of year to visit is when they have the “Artists Open Studios” which is spread over two weekends in March each year. This event offers access to over fifty studios and galleries around Whanganui and up to Waverley with a chance to meet the artists and makers that abound here.
“Whanganui has inspired creative people for generations, allowing us to develop a culture rich in artistic expression. Our artists, writers, musicians, sculptors, photographers and designers are at the forefront of our identity. Honouring Te Awa Tupua (the Whanganui River) is integral to everything we do. Te Awa Tupua reflects the creativity that flows from our people, and to our people, and our creatives’ work distinguishes Whanganui as a place both historically significant and strikingly modern.”
Whanganui & Partners, Strategic Lead – Creative Industries & Arts