Packing in and packing out: creating that fabulous fair experience.


Don’t miss the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair this Sunday 25th March. We’ve an Easter theme with a Find the Easter Egg competition every hour and spot prizes. As usual, there’s live music, great food and coffee.  Here’s two of our regulars giving their “Easter Bonnets” a whirl.


Upland Road start the morning

We are incredibly lucky to have the Black Sheep Bar & Grill at Whakamarama as the venue for the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair.   The complex offers a variety of sites and venues for exhibition and retail stalls and gazebos.

In case you miss it, here’s the way in!

The Fair owes its success to the ongoing hardwork of Katikati artist, author, poet and arts administrator; Birgitt Shannon. A regular ARTbop contributor, Birgitt not only orchestrates the Fair content but is also the focus for the exhibitor enquiries and communication.  

The amazing Birgitt Shannon in pack up mode

The Fair has an increasing number of stallholders – currently over 40 but has already had to turn some exhibitors away. Current participants are incredibly supportive in the operation and running of the Fair. ARTbop and the Black Sheep are seeing immediate evident of their original intention that this will develop as an informal collective of artists and artisans.

Niftynana: locally made and so retro

Occasionally someone cannot be at the Fair: family and friends or other business commitments but they let us know when they won’t be there and if there is anything special you’ve come to buy from them, we can have them get in contact with you.

Unique graphic design

Three commissions!

  If you’ve never been a “marketer” or “weekend retailer” you may not appreciate how much sheer organisation and physical energy goes into the final presentation of the event you come to see. An exhibitor has to organise their product, pack it into easily movable containers, pack it into their vehicle with any display equipment.

That gazebo!

Many of the exhibitors have spent hours not only creating their art and artisan products but also building and organizing their eventual display areas.   And, they have it down to a “fine art” how they set up, break down and pack into their vehicles.  


Brenda Butler of BB’s art (photography which can be displayed outside) is one of those who has purpose-built presentation stands.  

The outdoor art of Brenda Butler

When they get to the Black Sheep they have to unpack their vehicle, set up their gazebo and/or display equipment, move their vehicles off site then come back to add finishing touches and meet their visitors and customers.

The amazing Natalie packs up.

And it’s worth it.   Not just for the retail opportunities the Black Sheep provides but also the networking and camaraderie of being part of the exhibiting collective.

Are there sales made? You bet. I watch the products being carried away. I see the bags and baskets going out.   The quality of the product on display says it all.   And, artists have been asked to undertake commissions.   February market: four commissions obtained. That’s paid work for a creative. And this creative – he sold two pieces of his garden art before we opened!

You can come on down for brunch, morning tea or lunch and look over the changing variety of exhibitors and product and listen to the live music   There’s heaps of sealed parking and clean toilets.  

We have developed a plan to bring the Fair completely in to the Black Sheep buildings and Atrium if the weather requires it.   You’ll still have access to the product range but in a smaller-weatherproof way. And, all the great coffee, food and drinks the Black Sheep is known for will be available. The Black Sheep also independently displays art and art craft within the restaurant/café area so, even if you come down when the Fair is not in full swing there’s something to see and something to buy.

In the meantime, enjoy the outdoor ambiance of the Black Sheep; the gazebos on the Green and under the trees and around the buildings.



And don’t forget the next weekend is the Tauranga Jazz Festival! Think Easter! Think Jazz! Think Tauranga! We’ll have a pile of programmes available for you to take away.   Just love the colourful abstract graphic of this year’s cover.  

The  Affordable Art & Artisan Fair will be on the last Sunday of March, that’s the 25th!   The Fairs are held within the Black Sheep Bar & Grill complex.  There is heaps of parking, clean toilets and wonderful food and coffee.  There’s live music.  And because we’re coming up to the season of the Easter Bunny, exhibitors at the Fair will be in the swing of things both jazz and chocolate!   We’ve got some spot prizes and look out for the creative headgear.   If you would like to join us as an exhibitor/retailer of your original creativity you can contact us at

We are sign posted along SH2 with signage to the turnoff of SH2 and Plummer’s Point Road.  See you all on the 25th.

                                          NEXT FAIR SUNDAY 25TH MARCH 11AM TO 3PM!


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.




Join us every second Wednesday of the month,

6.00pm to 8.30pm

     at the

   Black Sheep Bar & Grill

Cnr SH2 and Plummers Point Road, Whakamarama

Read your own poems or your favourite poet

Enjoy the company of other poets

Phone 571 8722  or 021 145 5810




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