New Art Block in Masterton
New Art Block in Masterton: Aratoi, ConArt, King Street Artworks, Te Pātukituki
Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Arts and History welcomes the new arts quarter in Masterton, with four arts/cultural organisations now located within one city block: (alphabetically) Aratoi, ConArt, King Street Artworks, and Te Pātukituki o Wairarapa.
Together, the four organisations involve hundreds of people on a daily basis, represent significant resources both public and private, and offer the community with inspiring, stimulating, healthy, fun, friendly, and free activities. The area brings tremendous energy and creativity to Masterton.
Aratoi, the Wairarapa’s largest museum, has the region’s only publicly owned collection, with about 4,000 items; since 1969; ConArt, a container arts village, opens to the public on December 15; King Street Artworks is a creative space for people who use, or have used, mental health services and for the whole community, since 1997; and Te Pātukituki o Wairarapa is a centre for Toi Māori and Kaitiakitanga, founded in 2016.
Aratoi joined the neighbourhood together recently for the BLOCK PARTY: some 25 activities around the entire street block of Bruce, Dixon, Park and Queen, and the Museum looks forward to such collaborations, especially through its longstanding education programmes. Jade Waetford, Chair of Te Pātukituki, and Wayne Pitau, who is currently running weekly classes about kōwhaiwhai patterns at the centre, contributed to Aratoi’s Te Marae o Rongotaketake Education Programme.
King Street Artworks 20th Annual Exhibition: We Made It is currently showing at Aratoi (until December 10); it comprises 186 works of art created during the past year. Other Wairarapa art on view: exquisite paintings by Martinborough-based Stephen Allwood; and the 2017 Wairarapa Arts Review, open to all artists living in the region, will be on view from 16th December to 18th February -- selector is Mark Amery.
Aratoi’s two key exhibitions for 2017: Cellular Memory, a survey of Elizabeth Thomson’s work, curated by Gregory O’Brien, opens on 8 December 2017 (at 6pm) and runs until April 2018; and earlier in the year, Te Marae o Rongotaketake – Redressing our Kahungunu History, the largest ever display of Ngāti Kahungunu taonga, was visited by about 15,000 people from at least 19 countries.
One more invitation for the season: Everyone is invited to the Aratoi Regional Trust Annual Meeting on Monday 11 December, 5pm, with Guest Speaker Simon Bowden, Executive Director, The Arts Foundation.
Photo: Aratoi, ConArt, King Street Artworks and Te Pātukituki, with mural on Te Pā wall by King Street tutor Linda Tilyard / Photo credit: Madeleine Slavick