Karangahape Road has long been the place of artist studios and creative start-ups, and although the street is increasingly gentrified, the area in and around still plays host to many artist collectives, and houses the highest concentration of galleries per metre in the Auckland region, making it our Arts District.
With that in mind, it’s worth allocating a leisurely afternoon this April for an autumnal gallery crawl, after which, you can enjoy an early dinner in one of the many eateries also located on the famous strip. Here are some galleries, artist-run spaces and creative hubs worth making a beeline for.
Monster Valley’s Pop-up Shop Revolving Group Show
Always worth a squiz, Monster Valley is a creative agency and social enterprise with a permanent pop-up shop at the front of their gallery allocated to local alternative and emerging artists.
Nestled along the famous Cross Street resides arts hub Mercury Plaza – named in homage to the recently lost Mercury Plaza Food Court, Games Room and Supermarket. This April a selection of passionate Auckland photographers come together under one roof to share a selection of their favourite recent artworks.
Just off Karangahape, with a beautiful outlook onto the leafy surrounds of Grafton Graveyard, is Anna Miles Gallery. This April the gallery exhibits a new series of paintings titled Fever Lung by Barbara Tuck.
RM Gallery is an artist-run space that celebrates and exhibits both emerging and established artists. This April they have several shows, of note is Yukari Kaihori – a visual artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau and Aotearoa’s next creative offering chosen for the Venice Biennale. In this exhibition Yuki focuses on the physical space of RM gallery and its connective energy with the community, bringing awareness to the “here and now”.
On until 10 April 3 Samoa House Lane, Newton rm103.org
I Think You Like Me, But I’ve Been Wrong About These Things Before Natasha Matila-Smith
Artspace is conveniently located on the main drag, this April it features the sensual work of Natasha Matila-Smith, who transforms the gallery into a meta-space, through the intentional employment of obvious conceptual metaphors connected to the bedroom
Melanie Roger Gallery plays host to a delightful stable of Artists. This month Karen Rubado is on display. Rubado is interested in the aggregation and transformation of found materials through hand-making. Her enthusiasm lies in the connections between intention and action, the real and imagined, and the imperfection that often characterises the handmade.
Starkwhite presents as a large loft style gallery. This April they have New York based artist Martin Basher’s solo exhibition up for view. Basher revisits the classic genre of still life painting with an eye on unstable times.
Just off Newton Road before the overbridge is Tim Melville Gallery. This April the gallery features the work of multidisciplinary artist and writer Areez Katki, whose practice explores his genetic heritage and landscape through embroidery, tapestry, weaving, beading, painting, printmaking and sculpture.
Two Rooms often has two exhibitions on at any one time, one taking over the main gallery space on the ground floor, the other is upstairs. This April Jude Rae is exhibiting a new suite of still life paintings and Lauren Winstone is presenting new ceramic work in the form of the lidded container. Inspired by the funeral object of an urn, Winstone’s works have a meditative and introspective quality.
Sitting on Ponsonby Road, Orexart is showing Martin Ball’s hyperrealist paintings this season. The artist’s interpretation of the Pink and White Terraces employs subtle pictorial elements to create the illusion of a reality through the medium of oil paint made to look like a photograph.