New gallery and art space for Western Bay of Plenty


A new gallery and art space associated with the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair is planned for The Black Sheep at Whakamarama.

In 2017 I approached one of the owners of the business The Black Sheep Bar & Grill at Whakamarama to see if ARTbop could organise creative exhibitions within the diverse Black Sheep complex.   From that initial contact ARTbop and The Black Sheep have collaborated to develop the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair a monthly event which gives local creatives the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work.    You will have seen videos and images on ARTbop which share the flavour of these events.

The AAAFair had its “first birthday” last month.   For me it’s been a year of hard work and persistence as the Fair was established without any direct territorial authority or creative organisation funding.   I’ve discovered I couldn’t be a public artist – I don’t like the smell of spray can paint!    It’s also been a year of meeting and working with wonderful creative people.  The Fair has the practical support of a great team and although we had no funding we’ve had ongoing publicity from local media and Creative Bay of Plenty and product sponsorship from the 16th Avenue Theatre and De La Vie at Mount Maunganui.


Over the past year I’d often mentioned to Peta Clavis of The Black Sheep how an under-utilised area adjacent to the foyer would make a wonderful gallery/shop.  I wasn’t the only person who thought that and recently a project has commenced to develop that area and the large Atrium into a gallery space and retail shop.  

The collaboration between ARTbop and The Black Sheep is an example of local business and the creative sector working together for the benefit of both.  So ARTbop has achieved its mission:   a monthly event to showcase and sell local art and artisan products and also the development of a gallery space and retail shop within the Black Sheep.   ARTbop is already off on its next journey and creative project!

You may want to support the development of the gallery project which will add not only another creative space to the locality but also a potential local and visitor attraction.  You could contact the project through its email:

And don’t forget the Affordable Art & Artisan Christmas Fair next Sunday 16th December (details below).

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.

Don’t miss the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair on the 16th of December!


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