Kerikeri copper artist Jasmine Keir, left, and mixed media artist Monika Welch in their Blacks Rd studio at the last Koast (Kerikeri Open Art Studios Art Trail), in October, 2019. The trail has been expanded and given a new name for its return this year.
A popular Far North art trail is back after a four-year Covid-enforced hiatus, with a new name and expansion to cover more of the district.
What had been Koast (Kerikeri Open Art Studios Art Trail) was last held in 2019 prior to the pandemic and had more than 70 exhibitors and more than 3000 visitors attending, many from out of the district.
This year’s event has expanded to include artists and studios from Doubtless Bay and Hokianga, and will also be open for an extra day and is being run under a slightly different model.
Spokesman Bruce MacGregor said Koast was run by the participating artists volunteering their time and skills while also creating their work for the trail.
Because of demand from artists outside Kerikeri, plus feedback from visitors, this year’s trail has been extended to include artists and galleries in Mangōnui, Rawene, Kohukohu, Russell and Matauri Bay.
“This means that artists, galleries and studios from the Hokianga and Doubtless Bay will be able to join their Kerikeri colleagues, and Koast is now inviting artists to make the most of this opportunity,” MacGregor said.
For the first time this year, it would be held under the auspices of the Bay of Islands Creative Charitable Trust (BOICCT), he said.
The event would retain the well-known brand name Koast, but to reflect the geographic growth of the trail, it would become known as Koast, The Tai Tokerau Art Trail, McGregor said.
“With over 70 artists in the last trail, its organisation now needs more time and management than volunteers can provide so it was decided to move the organisational role into the care of BOICCT, which is employing an events coordinator.
He said BOICCT was a charitable trust with the mandate to promote the Far North as a creative centre and arts hub for everyone who lives in the region.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for artists to take advantage of the reputation Koast has built up over the years and share their work with the thousands of art-loving visitors.”
MacGregor said participating artists could exhibit either in their own studio or a collective art hub, plus they got publicity on the Koast website and an eight-week intensive advertising campaign, event studio signage, and the ongoing option to exhibit at the Packhouse Market Koast space.
- This year the Koast trail will run from October 20 to 23, to give visitors more time to see their chosen artists and studios. The deadline for Koast exhibitor registration is July 15. To register and for more information, go to https://koast.org.nz/.