UpFlash: Victoria Hall & ARTwaikino Labour Weekend 2015


Waikino is one of the historic mining and settlement areas of the geographically amazing Karangahake Gorge. State Highway 2, one of the primary routes between Auckland and Tauranga passes through this visually interesting area. It winds through the Gorge on its alpine road with the abstraction of cliff opposing the noise of the river and water below. Just past the historic wooden Waikino Hotel and before the functioning Waikino Railway is the Victoria Hall.

If you’re coming from Auckland, Waihi or Paeroa, Waikino and the Victoria Hall are at the end of the Gorge where it flattens out with farmland, trees and paddocks and the river widens and slows.

The Victoria Hall is one of those old, style New Zealand district halls. Its wood with an unprepossessing angular front. I haven’t been inside but I’m picking there would have been tongue and groove lining, a stage and the all important hall kitchen which over the years will have been upgraded. It will have seen the birth, birthdays, marriage and death of generations of residents and heard the sounds of music, joy and sadness.

This Labour Weekend the Victoria Hall is the site of an exhibition ARTwaikino. It is the 15th year the exhibition has been held and this time in conjunction with an art trail from Waikino to Waihi. The purpose of all this creativity and activity is to raise funds for the Victoria Hall. There’s a gold coin entry fee to the exhibition which is showing, painting, craft, photography and sculpture. There is an art competition with judges Shawn Rowlton (Tauranga, Pushinguppixels) and Gary Venn (Hamilton, Illustrator).

The exhibition and the art trail are open today Saturday 24th, Sunday 25th and Monday 26th (October 2015) from 10am to 4pm. This is another opportunity within Labour Weekend Bay of Plenty not only to enjoy the natural beauty of the area but also to see the extensive creativity happening here.There are also great little cafes within the area and both Paeroa, Waihi and Waihi Beach are well worth a visit. And don’t think you won’t be able to find the Victoria Hall – the simply worded banner has been strung across the front of the building for some time.

Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current 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.


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