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Auckland ups its art game

Auckland Art Fair is now an annual event, based on its success in 2018, and the city is using the waterfront showcase of New Zealand and Pacific art to stake its claim as world-class arts destination.

Art is a fast-growing tourism market. A recent report from Australia Council for the Arts found that visitors to Australia were more likely to go to an arts event or activity (43%) than to visit wineries (13%), casinos (12%) or organised sporting events (6%).

The findings of this report are useful to Auckland also, says Stuart Turner, Head of Major Events at Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED).

“The Auckland Art Fair is the perfect event to lift our promotion of Auckland as an arts destination to the next level. It is an unmissable opportunity for locals and visitors to experience world-class art. And importantly for Auckland – and New Zealand – its focus is on the Pacific region, with New Zealand art at its core.”

At this year’s event, some of the best galleries from the Pacific will show off the work of more than 150 artists, both local and international talent.

“Additionally,” says Turner. “Auckland is a fantastic destination for hosting artists and art lovers. It is a region that already inspires artists – it can also inspire its visitors.”

ATEED and Auckland Art Fair have together produced videos featuring local artists who have found inspiration in the multifaceted region.

John Reynolds, a contemporary artist based in Ponsonby, find his inspiration from simply walking around Auckland. Nikau Hindin is a multimedia artist whose main focus is revitalising the practice of creating aute, which is Māori bark cloth (tapa cloth); her inspiration comes from the hikes and beauty of Te Henga / Bethells Beach.

The two Kiwi artists also talk about their favourite spots in Auckland – top tips for visitors to make the most of their Auckland Art Fair and Auckland experience. John highly recommends Karangahape Road and its many art galleries; Nikau boasts about her favourite eateries in Auckland, including the newly opened Māori Kitchen on Queen’s Wharf – just outside the doors of the Auckland Art Fair.

The Auckland Art Fair will be held at The Cloud on Auckland’s Queens Wharf, from Wednesday 1 – Sunday 5 May 2019.

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