The (New Zealand) Golden Bay Community Arts Council serves and celebrates local artists. We organize a variety of annual events and opportunities designed to expand participation and recognition of the value of all creative ventures.
The Nelson Tasman region has a reputation based on its natural beauty, sunny climate and flourishing arts. In terms of art and related facilities, Golden Bay, by geographic and demographic characteristics, needs to be considered as a region in its own right. Isolated from the rest of the Nelson Tasman region as it is, it has its own distinctive culture of creativity, which needs to be fully honored by provision of adequate art facilities.
Many creative people find their home in Golden Bay, a destination in its own right and not a place people pass through on their way to somewhere else. Tourism is very important to the economy here and artists are a significant incentive to bring tourists to Golden Bay. There are over 250 full and part time adult artists living in the Bay. Representing some artists are the galleries Monza, Artisans, Lollokiki, Golden Bay Gallery and Kuketa Designs. The Dangerous Kitchen and Wholemeal Café, Hair Revolution, Takaka Public library and Nelson Building Society also display and sell art in the CBD. Many of the artists exhibiting at Art Bank are not represented in these places, which are all private. There is a need for an impartial and public art space. The most important thing is having a central hub in the Takaka township area, and with the presence of the building we have in the main street, we have found the perfect location. We have space for artists to meet and connect, share resources and work on larger, joint community projects. An Art Centre will strengthen and solidify Golden Bay’s existing reputation as an artistic community. Having a central Art Centre is a huge benefit to the tourism sector.
The public gallery greatly benefits those artists who are struggling financially to build their careers and contacts. At present, most of our artists struggle to get even local exposure of their works. Despite our artistic wealth, there has been until now a lack of local opportunity for artists if their work does not fit within the aesthetic of our current commercial galleries. The majority of artists do not have suitable personal property to run their own studio gallery.
The Arts Council will hold local shows at the Art Bank such as Bay Art (running now for 30 years).
We already have art assets in Golden Bay such as a community kiln and pottery club and some restricted workshop space at the Golden Bay Work Centre. There are a few halls in the region which make great workshop spaces such as the Kotinga, Pohara, and Catholic halls and privately owned venues such as Riversea and Fairholme Gallery.