Creative Kāpiti Project:

Art For Everyone Programme

Project Lead: Sandra Smillie, Curator
Project contact: sandra@creativekapiti.nz
Project Status: Delivery
Start Date: November, 2020
Delivery Date: September, 2021
Sponsors: Paraparaumu Raumati Community Board Kāpiti Creative Communities Scheme

The Art for Everyone programme launched in November 2020, as a Covid-19 response with the goal of increasing individual and community wellbeing. Research shows that the mere act of viewing art reduces stress and reduces blood pressure. By activating unused or unloved spaces, we create much needed exhibition space for artists and make art available to everyone.

We approached spaces we thought needed some creative love. We negotiated contracts with the business owner, undertook workplace assessments, compiled individual health & safety plans, negotiated artist terms and established a variety of corporate and hospitality settings. The Creative Kāpiti Gallery inside Kiwibank Paraparaumu provides the largest space and has enabled collaborations with arts groups such as the NZ Institute of Professional Photographers, Māoriland Toi Matarau Gallery, Tutere Collaborative, and Te Ara Korowai. Events such as NZ Music Month, the Matariki Lighting the Beacons Festival and International Women’s Day have been commemorated in this space. Thanks to the generosity of artists, we raised over $1,000 for the Kāpiti Women’s Centre in 2021.

Programme at a glance:

  • eight community gallery spaces including Kiwibank Paraparaumu, NZ International Sotheby’s Wellington, Robert Harris Coastlands, Raumati Social Club, Property Brokers, and the local MP offices in Paraparaumu and Levin
  • two-part time roles created
  • income generation opportunity provided for an average of 40-50 artists at any given time, and more than 120 artists exhibited to date (the equivalent of an arts trail)including established artists, emerging artists, art students and school students
  • investment of $4,500 from the Paraparaumu Raumati Community Board and Kāpiti Creative Communities Scheme and earnings from 20% artist commission reinvested in the project
  • regular media coverage in print and radio resulting in buyer enquiry from Auckland
  • regular exhibition openings, artist floor talks and an accompanying school holiday art workshop

‘Exhibiting artists have acquired their mātauranga Māori knowledge over many years. For many, this will be a first, exhibiting in Paraparaumu’ said Maakarita Paku, Kaitiaki Toi of Māoriland Toi Matarau Gallery.

‘It was heartbreaking not being able to show my work in London and to now have this opportunity to see it exhibited in Paraparaumu is a cathartic experience’ said Hamish MaCaulay. Some of Hamish’s artworks in this exhibition were subsequently purchased by Te Papa Tongarewa for the national art collection.