Birgitt Shannon: hardworking Kati Kati artist


I first saw Birgitt Shannon’s identifiable style of work exhibited in the then Creative Tauranga Gallery in Downtown Tauranga. ARTbop and Birgitt have been in contact since that time and it has been a personal pleasure to see the wider success and recognition this hard-working artist has and continues to achieve.

Katikati artist Birgitt Shannon: note the red sticker on this work at a Creative Tauranga showing! 

Multi-talented Birgitt is a visual artist of increasing renown. In mid-June 2018 she was the runner-up in the annual Tauranga Society of Artists Inc Trustpower Supreme Award at the Society’s Art Expo.

Birgitt’s work has been exhibited widely and she has achieved that “Holy Grail” of an artist: her work sells and has sold internationally. Birgitt is always busy painting or, because of her diverse talents writing or writing poetry. She tells me she has another exhibition coming up in a Hamilton eatery: the Waikato take note.

Kati Kati artist and ARTbop contributor Birgitt Shannon one of the team driving the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair at the Black Sheep, Whakamarama

I’ve observed that Birgitt, like others in the creative community, is also prepared to share her time and talent for the benefit of others. She is the outstandingly capable principal Event Organizer of the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair ARTbop presents in collaboration with the Black Sheep Café and Restaurant at Whakamarama.

I’ve personally had real enjoyment working with Birgitt to create our road signs and promotional material.   I’m not sure I’d recommend spray painting as an on-going activity but it’s fun in short bursts!

It was harder than we thought it would be!

Much of the monthly Fair’s on-going success is the result of Birgitt’s dedication to the concept of providing an all-weather, affordable exhibition space for local creatives.   Birgitt spends many hours each month liaising with current and potential exhibitors.   She is the person who ensures that the art, art craft and artisan products and produce exhibited at the Fair are original, local and of a consistent quality.     Birgitt is also the person who organises the Fair’s skills-based workshops.

Online store setup and social media workshop Photo Rosemary Balu

Birgitt has an exhibition area at each Fair dedicated to the display and sale of her work. It has always amazed me how she manages to organise the exhibitors as they arrive to set up and yet so quickly and deftly creates her own professionally styled display of work.

Birgitt Shannon in her summer exhibition site at the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair, Whakamarama photo Rosemary Balu

During the Fair Birgitt finds time to do video interviews with a selection of the exhibitors. This is another talent she is using for the benefit both of the Fair and the individual creatives and artists.

Birgitt is also a contributor to ARTbop sharing articles and videos of events and artist interviews. You can find those in our ARTbop archives.   Most importantly Birgitt has her own website and online store where you can see examples of her work for sale. She also has her own YouTube channel where you can also see her videoed interviews.   Here’s Birgitt’s recent video interview with local artist Stella Clark.

Birgitt Shannon:    Art by Birgitt YouTube.

On her channel you’ll find images of her work, interviews with local creatives and projects Birgitt has been invited to be involved with.    

Birgitt has her own website at

You can also find information about Birgitt on the Creative Bay of Plenty website. And, you can see her work and meet Birgitt at the monthly Affordable Art & Artisan Fair at the Black Sheep Whakamarama.

Birgitt with one of her favourite subjects.  On her You Tube channel you’ll find a series of videos of Birgitt creating images such as these.

Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current Managing Editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.


ARTbop promotes

(or we think you should check this out!)


And don’t forget the next Affordable Art & Artisan Fair  is this Sunday 29th July.  The Fairs are held within the Black Sheep Cafe & Restaurant complex on the last Sunday of every month 11am to 3pm.  There is heaps of parking, clean toilets and wonderful food and coffee.  There’s live music. There’s an event prize you can win.   If you would like to join us as an exhibitor/retailer of your original creativity or artisan products you can contact us at

We are sign posted along SH2 with signage to the turnoff of SH2 and Plummer’s Point Road.  You won’t be able to miss us!  Here’s  just a taste of what you’ll find. We’re indoors over winter months and outside in the Summer!


Last Sunday of July at the Black Sheep: AAAFair 11am – 3pm

Cafe time at the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair


ARTbop is promoting poetry in the Western Bay of Plenty

Established spoken word, slam poet and performance poet Dhaivat Mehta and author, reviewer and poet Marcus Hobson are at the heart of a poetry initiative to give Whakamarama District locals the opportunity to meet and share their spoken words with others.  Meeting on the second Wednesday of every month and providing an evening of entertaining words and thought from 6.00pm to 8.30pm. We are currently deciding on our venue as the Black Sheep at Whakamarama will not be opening on Wednesday evenings.  We’ll keep you up to date and in the meantime, the fabulous Black Sheep Curry Night will now be on Thursdays!  And if you don’t eat curry, check out the lamb shanks and alternative dishes:

My lamb shanks dinner when we met with Auckland poet John Adams in July 2018 Photo Rosemary Balu



Join us every second Wednesday of the month,

6.00pm to 8.30pm

Read your own poems or poems by your favourite poet.   Enjoy the power of the spoken word!

Phone:   07 571 8722   021 145 5810


The cover is as amazing as the words: ARTbop Editor, Book Reviewer and alchemy participant Marcus Hobson


Tauranga slam poet and alternative spoken word poet Dhaivat Mehta

You can hear Dhaivat Mehata’s collaborative original word and music project with Kingsley Smith on their You Tube channel:  TRYPTOFUNK   a multi part -serial project



The Historic Village Galleries

 We recommend you visit  the People’s Gallery and the smaller Incubator Gallery to view the current exhibitions and the recently opened Imprint gallery and art space.       These galleries display an amazing and eclectic range of creativity.  One of the exhibitions I’ve seen recently at the People’s Gallery has to be my favourite so far….it’s the epitome of wearable art:  Aroha Atu Aotearoa – the essence of our wahine   The work of Donna Dinsdale.  It’s the kind of exhibition that should be kept together and exhibted around New Zealand and overseas.  

Talented creative and Toi Ohomai creative Educator

Donna Dinsdale at the People’s Gallery July 2018

Jewel colours but a detailed political statement

Absolute detail and precision

Suffrage statement

Also, the Tauranga Art Gallery in its large upstairs gallery area is showing the selected finalists in the 2018 Miles Art Awards.  This is a diverse and interesting collection of work.  There is a small gallery retail space

The talented 3rd Year Toi Ohomai BCI student, Isaac Crowe winner of the Incubator Emerging Artist Award in the 2018 Miles Awards.  Isaac also contributed to the Dinsdale work above creating the Aroha Atu Image

Check in with Creative Bay of Plenty opposite in Willow Street  to collect one of the updated arts trail brochures for Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and surrounds.  A Macandmor production:  and check out their newly developed arty email you can subscribe to.  

When you are in the Downtown Tauranga area you can  visit The Art Lounge on Devonport Road, and Macandmor in the Goddard Centre Arcade.  You’ll also want a warming coffee, treat or lunch in one of Downtown Tauranga’s cafes.   Enjoy your creative winter in Tauranga Moana and the Bay of Plenty!

From a previous Macandmor exhibition



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