Artweek is a 10-day Auckland-wide art festival running from 6-14 October. Most events, held in 10 different precincts across the city, are free, and the programme includes exhibitions, events, guided tours of public galleries and private art collections, pop ups, street art and workshops – and Glen Innes is part of the line-up.

The festival has been running successfully in the town centre for about five years now, with several events, exhibitions and tours scheduled over the weekend, beginning with the opening of the Bradley Lane street art project on Friday 12th October at 5pm at the TGTB Gallery in Mayfair Place, Glen Innes.

Across the city, this year’s festival includes the work of more than 1000 artists in upwards of 100 venues. Now is in its eighth year, the aim is to encourage people to experience and enjoy easy access to the city’s arts community, with activities taking place in every corner of the central city, Parnell, Ponsonby, K’Road, Arch Hill, Newmarket, Devonport, South, West and East Auckland.

Artweek does amazing things for communities, says event producer Marlaina Key. “It encourages people to go to other parts of Auckland they might not generally visit, to see the art and artists and find out about other areas. Artweek brings people into other places in these suburbs as well – they visit cafés and shops and walk around the streets, and find out what different areas have to offer.

“The festival aims to be an inclusive event for artists and visitors in all parts of Auckland, celebrating the visual arts,” she says.

You might like to hop on a bike for a tour of local art galleries, or you may choose some of the more serious talks by well-known artists and art commentators, but whatever your preference, Auckland’s Artweek has it covered.

Only 12 minutes by train from the city, Glen Innes is hosting several events, and is lucky to have the support of Te Oro, the recently completed, award-winning music and arts centre, and local people like Gary Silipa, says Marlaina. “Te Oro is a beautiful building. A lot of people have never been there, and it is so close to the centre of Auckland.”

What Is Art? Cycle Tour and Film Screening

For those who like to combine activity with their art appreciation, Renée Tanner, a long-time supporter of the arts, and local digital start-up company No Six, are running cycle tours around public artworks in Glen Innes. Tour guides are part of the team behind “What is Art?” – a youth-led project funded by the Maungakiekie Local Board and led by Renée to encourage people to engage with existing public artworks in their areas.

Make a booking, grab your bike and helmet and join up for the tour on Saturday 13th October, which connects 10 local artworks, via mostly off-road shared paths and green spaces in the suburb. Planned by local organisation Bike Aroha Tāmaki, the hour-long ride covers around four kilometres, and is designed to be easy and family friendly; it starts from Te Oro and returns there for a shared lunch. During lunch, No Six will be screening the interview video footage captured in June when team members took to the streets of the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board area of Glen Innes, Panmure and Onehunga to ask locals “What is Art?”. Participants will also receive a copy of the recently released “What is Art?” map and guide that shows the local public artworks and includes the cycle tour route if you can’t make it along on Saturday 13th.

“The idea behind the project was to engage locals with art in their area and encourage them to think about ‘What is Art?’ – what it means to them in their daily lives, in the broadest sense of the question, and to hear their opinion of the local artworks. The bike tour is a great opportunity for people to learn about the public artworks in the community, and join in as we continue to question what art is, and what it means to all of us,” says Renée. “The project was made possible thanks to the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board.”

Bradley Lane Street Art Project

The Bradley Lane project runs over three days from Friday 12th October to Sunday 14th October, and celebrates graffiti as an art form. During the weekend street, visitors will be able to observe various well-known street artists at work around the town’s laneways, up their ladders, painting five new outdoor murals to add to the 19 murals already decorating the walls of buildings around Glen Innes. Visitors are welcome to pick up a map and take a self-guided tour around the town centre to watch and talk with the artists and check their progress over the weekend as they apply their art.

Over the weekend there will also be a series of free workshops, where visitors are invited to have a go at producing some street art, plus there’s an exhibition of other works by the artists taking part in the Bradley Lane project, and to round off the weekend, the artists will be talking about their work on Sunday 14th October from 2-4pm.

Artweek Auckland is owned and presented by the VA Auckland Charitable Trust, and its objective is to create opportunities for artists, promote the visual arts industry, and improve public access to and engagement with the visual arts community.

“The event has got bigger with more going on each year as Artweek becomes better known. We have printed 80,000 programmes this year, which are being distributed around the city,” says Marlaina.

Artweek Around Auckland

Plenty of interesting and challenging art events and exhibitions are waiting to be discovered in various suburbs across Auckland during the ten days of Artweek, with a full programme of events and exhibitions designed to appeal to people of all ages.

You might like to take a train into the central city and enjoy Late Night Art on Tuesday 9th October when city galleries, including the Auckland Art Gallery, are staying open late. Or you could opt to take part in one of the walking tours and discover street art, both new and old, commissioned and less-than-official, in the streets and lanes of the inner city.

If food’s more your thing, pop down to Khartoum Place and enjoy StreetArtDego, a mini art and food festival, where visitors are invited to tempt their taste buds with delicious dishes from five of Auckland’s top food vendors who are producing food that’s inspired by the works of five artists.

Head up to K’Road on Thursday 11th for Electric Night when galleries will be open late. Or make a booking to join a guided walking or cycling tour, and get a new perspective on the paintings and wall art of the area with Jonny 4Higher, one of the country’s most experienced graffiti artists, and whose work is represented in the Bradley Lane project in Glen Innes.

Across in Ponsonby, the offerings include Ponsonby on a Plate, an event where artist Helen Perrett combines art, dogs and food in a unique collaboration. Helen will be hand-painting beautiful dogs on 100 plates to be given away to lucky customers who eat at three different local cafes.

For those of us who are concerned about sustainable living practices, artist Louise Keen is exhibiting at Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Road. Louise is known for her paintings in which she repurposes materials often considered as ‘junk’ or ‘cheap’. Through her work, she aims to highlight the impact of climate change and the wastefulness of a consumerist society that produces large volumes of single-use plastics which are discarded and end up in our oceans, killing birds and other sea life.

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