Visiting an old church on Whangarei's Bank Street from next Friday will leave people star struck.

Local artists are showcasing their art in an old church turned community space at 116 Bank St in celebration of Matariki for just over a week.

One One Six is hosting the exhibition Company of Stars organised by artist in residence Leonard Murupaenga. The art in the show will consist of work from more than 20 Whangarei artists, most of which is inspired by Matariki. Mr Murupaenga has about 11 pieces of his own art in the show and said altogether there will be more than 50 pieces of art to see.

The name of the show has links to the organisation, Company of Giants that runs One One Six, to the star cluster Pleiades celebrated during Matariki and to the artists in the show wanting to get their names out there. Mr Murupaenga said he wanted to include all aspects in the name.


Damian Finn who is assisting with the exhibition said there is a lot of talent in Whangarei. He thinks highly of Mr Murupaenga and tries to support him as much as possible.

"He struck me as someone kind of special. The community has an asset in him."

Ash Holwell of Company of Giants said the space at One One Six "has a bit of mauri around it" and it's good to have different groups be able to come together in this community space.

Friday's opening will involve a karakia and the hanging of a recently painted mural on the church. The exhibition at 116 Bank street will then run Monday to Saturday between 10am and 1pm until July 2.