Get ready for a mountain of Matariki magic – there are plenty of events celebrating the Māori New Year in the Far North in the coming weeks.
Kaikohe artist and gallery owner Sasha Wilson is among those getting ready to shine a little light on winter, with free workshops creating light sculptures with upcycled household objects.
The workshops at Te Pu o Te Wheke on June 14, 15 and 16 from 10am to 2pm, are a chance for everyone to get involved, she said.
They lead up to the main Matariki event; an art trail through town on June 21 from 6pm.
So far eight businesses have got on board, and they will have sculptures lighting up their shop windows.
"Part of this celebration is the coming together as a community and having fun making light sculptures," Wilson said.
"We'll be taking everyday objects and adhering lights to that object."
The gallery, which is now a charitable trust, moved premises recently, directly opposite the old premises next door to the Four Square store.
Wilson said the new space is "fabulous" and includes two gallery rooms and separate spaces for workshops, meetings, mirimiri [massage] and Rongoa Māori.
The community has been the driving force behind the venture, with help from Wally Te Huia from Wipe Out, who donated the grey paint for the floor and white paint for the walls.
Ladies Night promises to be a night to remember
Wilson's parents Ben and Anita donated paint for the exterior walls and Bay of Islands Computers helped out with a computer.
Artists were already lining up to exhibit their work, she said.
"This space is more permanent and eventually we'll be able to hold workshops doing weaving, upholstery, painting and art classes.
"The wheke (giant octopus) will be in the front window rather than out the back of the gallery, so that will be a big drawcard."
Register your interest in the workshops or art trail with Sasha at email@example.com or on 022 409 9645.
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds are also marking Matariki with a festival running from today until June 23.
There are carving workshops, Matariki-themed evenings at Whare Waka Cafe, storytelling followed by a special night show in Te Whare Rūnanga and even painting at dawn.
Topping off the celebrations are traditional Māori games with expert Harko Brown at the upper Treaty Grounds lawn on June 23 from 10am to 12.30pm.
The free event is a great chance for children to learn fun games and confidence building.
Brown will also be teaching raranga (flax weaving) where participants can weave a ki (flax ball), manu (bird) and pakaukau (glider).
Entry is via the main entrance and all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Prepare for an enchanting evening of light and fabulous food at the ever-popular Oromahoe School Light Festival.
The school fundraising event is another chance to celebrate Matariki and catch up with friends and family over live music, lights and lanterns, and warming kai and drink.
The school grounds will be transformed into a magical place on June 22 from 4pm to 8pm, with the lantern walk starting at 6pm.
Don't forget to pack warm clothes, your gumboots and a torch, because all the activities take place outdoors.
Check out Facebook for more information.
Eight talented Kerikeri Retirement Village residents are getting set for their second annual art exhibition.
The Kerikeri Drawing and Painting Group exhibition, called "A Small Exhibition from a Small Group" will be held at the Kerikeri Village social centre on June 22 and 23 from 10am to 4pm.
The group was formed in 2017 by Gill Preece and Margaret Lonie to encourage Kerikeri Village residents to indulge their interest in drawing and painting.
They meet once a week for two to three hours and have a monthly tutorial by local artist, Judi Soutar.
Soutar said the artistic residents have surprised themselves in discovering a variety of styles and media, and have progressed from pencil drawings to aquarelles, water colour and Prismacolor wax pencils.
All works will be for sale and proceeds donated to the village.
More art news
The 2019 Wharepuke Dalton Trust Artist Residency has been awarded to Donald Buglass.
Originally from Hokitika, Buglass now lives in New Plymouth but makes most of his art in Europe.
His work is in collections and sculpture parks around the world including the Sir James Wallace collection in Auckland.
Buglass is planning to be at Wharepuke for four weeks towards the end of September.
Meanwhile, The Dalton Trust is seeking applications for funding assistance to support and promote the arts in and around Kerikeri.
Particular consideration will be given to performing arts.
Applications close at 5pm on July 15. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form.
Dr Earle Wilson once had a dream of establishing a U3A in the Bay of Islands.
So he four friends, Heather and Maurice Pickup, Robert Wright and Val Moloughney, got together in May 1999 to plan a public meeting.
A month later they booked out the Paihia Memorial Hall and 83 people turned out, proving the third agers in the area were more than willing to keep learning and teaching.
Soon 14 interest groups had been established; natural history, local history, basic and advanced computers, musical appreciation, literature, geology, astronomy, ancient history, French language, philosophy, creative writing and walking.
Two decades later the group is celebrating its anniversary with a healthy membership of 215 and 33 groups, with more in the pipeline.
Though Dr Wilson passed away 12 years ago, his widow, Jenni Wilson, said her husband would have been so happy that his dream is alive and well.
"Earle learnt about the University of the Third Age during our time living in France, where U3A was established in 1973," she said.
"No qualifications are needed to attend this 'university', there are no exams, just like-minded people getting together for the pleasure of learning."
Visit https://u3abayofislands.com/ or phone 09 407 9748.
The Be Free Winter Concert will be packed with quality music from talented young musicians performing at the Turner Centre on June 22.
The winter concert features Be Free Youth and lots of special guests from 7pm to 9pm.
Come and support local bands and be prepared to be seriously impressed.
Cost for adults is a suggested $5 koha and kids entry is free.
Visit www.turnercentre.co.nz for more information.
The Bay of Islands Painting Group is holding a special mid-winter warmer at the Bay of Islands Yacht Club on June 23 from 11am to 4pm.
There will be fabulous views, amazing artwork and a choice of homemade cakes and biscuits with tea or coffee for just $5.
Proceeds from morning and afternoon tea plus 25 per cent of any art sales will go to The Northland Cancer society.
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