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Auckland Street Art Tours Set To Launch During Artweek 2020

Street Artearoa, Auckland’s first dedicated street art tour company, is set to launch during Artweek Auckland next month.

The programme during the festival includes a tour in Newmarket and four tours in Glen Innes as part of the Bradley Lane Project event, including one for people with sight loss and one for the Deaf community. There will also be street art workshops for youth and for adults, and a project working with youth to paint an outdoor mural, led by artist Amiria Puia-Taylor.

With tours led by artists Gary Silipa and Jesse Jensen (aka Ares Artifex), participants can expect to gain insights into the artists behind the murals, the concepts, stories, and technical aspects, and Auckland’s growing street art scene.

After the festival, public tours will be available every weekend, which can be booked through the Street Artearoa website. Tours will initially be provided in Glen Innes and Newmarket, with more locations to follow. Private tours are also on offer, as well as educational tours for school and university groups, and custom experiences. “These tours have the potential to inspire a new generation of street artists,” says Jensen, “we aim to challenge people’s preconceived notions of what street art is.”

Street Artearoa hasn’t had its enthusiasm dampened by the events of 2020. With international travel heavily impacted by COVID-19, they instead see this as an opportunity to provide exciting local tourism experiences. Operating as a social enterprise, the aim is to promote the the artform they love and the artists who make it, as well as creating opportunities for others to learn about, access, and participate in it.

Street Artearoa co-founder Gary Silipa, an artist who has run a number of popular street art events including Bradley Lane Project over the past eight years, sees this as an opportunity to draw in audiences who historically may not have had access or exposure to the arts.

The street is a great equaliser”, says Silipa. “When the street is your gallery, no one is excluded from the experience. Auckland has a vibrant and growing street art scene and there’s no reason we can’t provide fantastic tour experiences for our communities to enjoy of the same calibre as those in Melbourne or Buenos Aires or New York”.

With murals included in the tours by world-renowned New Zealand artists such as Askew (now based in the U.S.), Berst, and Charles and Janine Williams, there’s no doubt that the tours will highlight a growing artform that is vibrant, colourful, and diverse – and increasingly recognised as one worth celebrating.

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