Tauranga City Council has shortlisted four artists to work with to provide art to be part of the new tidal stairs, pier and pontoon on Tauranga's waterfront.

There was a strong interest from artists to support the project with 42 registrations of interested received.

An evaluation panel, including independent art curator Kate Darrow, art gallery director Karl Chitam, lead designer Henry Crothers, and Peri Kohu representing Ngai Tamarawaho and the council's Public Art Advisory Panel, met this week and went through a robust evaluation process of the submissions. From this they were able to shortlist to four artists.

"The proposed public art commission, as an integral part of the access to water project, is a very exciting opportunity for Tauranga. It will add another layer to the enjoyment of the new space by providing an engaging contemporary public artwork for the city", said Ms Darrow. "We had a tremendous response from leading artists both locally and nationally, and while this is very encouraging it certainly didn't make our choices any easier".

With construction planned to start in late-September the project team were looking forward to working closely with the artists to develop some concepts of how they see art being incorporated into the project.

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It was hoped that following this process an artist or artists can be commissioned in early September, with the aim of having the art installed ready for the opening of the space to the public.