Waiheke Island a Paradise for Art Lovers
“Waiheke Island is upscale Auckland’s offshore beach resort of choice – but its thriving creative community means it’s also a paradise for art lovers of all types,” according to Time Out Dubai. In an arts special, Time Out includes the island’s Church Bay Studio Gallery and collectors John and Jo Gow of Connells Bay Sculpture Park.
“Waiheke is weighed down with artworks – signposts for galleries and open studios clutter the intersections. Unexplained roadside sculpture out-populates the pedestrians,” Chris Bourn writes.
“‘Waiheke’s always been an island of artists,’ says Gabriella Lewenz (pictured), a Greek-born American painter who moved here from Connecticut 17 years ago to set up [Church Bay Studio Gallery].
“The place is strewn with her paintings in various stages of completion. Richly layered Rothko-esque colour-fields are suffused with the vistas and elements she has chosen to surround herself with. ‘There’s something vibrant about this part of the world,’ she explains. ‘Here, every day has this incredible show of colour and texture.’
“If it’s a paradise for artists, Waiheke is also a playground for collectors. [The 25-hectare] Connells Bay Sculpture Park, everyone agrees, is Waiheke’s mantelpiece. In the past 21 years, owners John and Jo Gow have carefully commissioned, curated and occasionally helicoptered in large-scale contemporary pieces to enrich their Arcadian vale by the sea.”
Original article by Chris Bourn, Time Out Dubai, March 11, 2014.