Guided art tours hit downtown Tauranga streets

Pete Morris at Whare Thompson’s panel at Waikato University in Durham St. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

There’s art in mysterious places.

Art writer and painter Pete Morris is paving the way for people to explore the 21 points of interest on the Downtown Tauranga Art Trail with free, guided tours.

“We have one of the highest concentrations of quality downtown street art to be seen in any New Zealand city,” says Pete. “Add sculptures, carving, art galleries and a public gallery and there is a feast of art to be discovered.”

Pete’s guided downtown art walks start at Macandmor Art Gallery in the Goddards Shopping Centre, 10am every Wednesday during October.

“It’s about three kilometres and will take up to two hours,” says Pete. “It’s going to be easy to see it all, learn interesting details about the artworks and enjoy a leisurely stroll.”

The walks with Pete include a Downtown Art Map to take home designed by Murray Clode from Macandmor Art Gallery. Pete can also tailor the walks to suit people’s different walking abilities.

“I know the route so well, so can just adapt on the trot,” says Pete.

The walk, also outlined on the map, will take in murals and art works from Elizabeth St to Cameron Rd, through the heart of the CBD along to The Strand, and back to Devonport Rd.

“At the Council-supported Graffiti Wall in Devonport Rd, I’ll explain the difference between tagging, throw-ups and graffiti writing.”

Pete will be giving some background and history to the art works.

“I’ll keep it brief with a couple of salient points like who did the piece and a quick bit of background about the artist.”

“The walk includes The Art Lounge, Tauranga Art Gallery, Sumer Gallery, Paradox Festival street art, carved pou, sculptures, art works by Owen Dippie, Whare Thompson, Shane Walker and many others. There are interactive works by Millie Newitt, Tara Fowler and the popular interactive Hairy Maclary sculptures by Brigette Wurst,” says Pete.

Lucy McLauchlan, a famous street artist from Birmingham, has a mural on the Strand.

“There’s also the impressive artworks at our new downtown university on Durham Street,” says Pete.

“There’s a lot to see and talk about. Art lovers will also find it interesting to see what’s on offer downtown while all the construction and disruption is happening. Like the Farmers site, where one of Owen Dippie’s murals is. Obviously Durham Street is a place of interest - it’s looking very nice now with the planting. We’ll just sort of ramble around.

“If there is good demand for it, I’d probably want to carry it on through November,” says Pete. “I’ll just see how we go.”

The free guided Downtown Tauranga Art Walks start on October 9, leaving from Macandmor Art Gallery at The Goddards Centre, Devonport Rd at 10am.

Check out the 'Downtown Tauranga 3km Art Walk' and the Tauranga Art Lovers Map

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