The iconic Holtom’s building in Beach Road Paekākāriki has recently been refurbished and is now home to 12 independent artists. Open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 4pm, this creative tourism attraction is soon to have the benefit of a bakery downstairs in addition to the two cafes, providing visitors to this creative beach location with an all weather visitor destination.

Dianna Fary’s art studio in the Holtom’s building.

Accessible by stairs, the building is a treasure trove of creativity with each artist working in their studio space whilst visitors browse. It is this connection to the creative process in its raw form, a visual display of materials, ideas in progress and the ability to ask questions and connect with the artist directly that ensures a rich and unique experience for visitors. Every nook and cranny is filled with art but not in a gallery sense, for these are working studios with working artists and space is limited.

Elise Fourie clay sculptures and bird shells by Dianna Fary.

How remarkable then, to have the opportunity to visit the first exhibition of the Holtom’s Art Studios in nearby Paraparaumu, in the Creative Manaaki Gallery inside Kiwibank Paraparaumu. The large 15m wall, one of the largest in the district, and additional 6m wall, have been activated since 2020 by Creative Manaaki in partnership with Kiwibank, as part of their Art for Everyone programme. One of the benefits of the programme is the ever changing monthly exhibitions, overseen by Creative Manaaki curator Sandra Smillie, with the addition of guest curators when needed.

Jenn Leov ceramics and Alan Wehipeihana studio.

Mā te mahi tahi ka ora ai te iwi, by working together we move forward is the founding philosophy of Creative Manaaki, who initiate partnership and collaboration with other creative organisations and groups through the Art for Everyone programme. The collaboration with Holtom’s Art Studios provides an opportunity for the artists to hold their first exhibition beyond their working studios with an opening on Thursday 9 June from 5:30 – 7pm. All work will be available for purchase and the artists are looking forward to meeting you.