Northland Artists Tantilise Artistic Tastebuds


Opening: 9 July 5:30pm  /  Exhibiting: 9 - 21st July

TradeMe Auction: 9 – 16July


It’s that time of year, when we begin to think about Northland’s biggest group art show – The Great Plate Exhibition and Auction, “It’s amazing to have so many people working together to achieve a community goal” – Katherine McDermid-Smith, Arts Coordinator at The Quarry Arts Centre, tells us how and why The Great plate annual fundraiser, brings so many people together.  “Before the show even opens, we’ve got the likes of David Huffman, Julie Cromwell, Greg Baron and Richard Darbyshire throwing the plates; it’s a real pleasure to have four great potters involved and to have 4 distinct styles in the mix.”


Once the plates are thrown, they are handed out to the lucky hundred artists who are selected to exhibit;

“The fact that so many people put their hands up for a plate, shows how aspiring and giving Northland artists are;  even in this challenging economic climate, people are still attentive enough to realise how important places like The Quarry are, and how their passion and support can help us survive and thrive.” 

From local artists such as Soju Shotz, Dave Beazley and Jane Cunningham, to talents from across the country, such as Jane McCulla and Fiona Tunnicliffe, each plate serves as a punctuation mark to each artists’ individual skills and talent.  The result: 100 exemplar and matchless pieces of art.

“It’s a real buzz for us to witness and support all the talent that Whangarei is producing right now” states Katherine, “Opportunities to push these new names out are our focus here at The Quarry, and the Great Plate achieves this on a grand scale.  Having lived in Whangarei for 3 years now, I am constantly taken aback by the concentration of talent in the area.”

Once the unadorned plates have been transformed into individual masterpieces, The Yvonne Rust Gallery becomes aglow with art, and opening night (Thursday 9th July) serves up not only the plates themselves, but live music, activities and the opportunity to begin your bidding with a live TradeMe auction.

“With a bidding zone in the gallery, we hope that people will jump straight in.  Getting your hands on your favourite can be a challenge, but the vast choice and the added thrill of knowing everything goes to charity, all makes for a lot of fun and community spirit - so get yourself up to the gallery!”

The Great plate Exhibition opens on Thursday 9th July at 5pm and runs until 21st July.  The auctions begin on 9th and finish at various times on Thursday 16th July.  For the chance to do a plate and for any more information about the event, please contact the Quarry office on (09) 438 12 15 –


Further information: 

The Quarry Arts Centre is located at 21 Selwyn Ave.  Vinetown, Whangarei, Northland.

Summer Do brochures and extended course outlines are available from the Quarry Office located in the Yvonne Rust Gallery, and are free with a suggested gold coin donation.

About The Quarry Arts Centre

The Quarry Arts Centre is one of New Zealand’s most unique spaces for the arts, offering a creative environment which is responsive, valued and belongs to the community.  Providing education through workshops and events, resources and opportunities such as Whangarei’s only hireable gallery, we endeavour to involve, engage and expand the arts in Northland.

As well as the Yvonne Rust Gallery, the centre holds within its site:  The Quarry Craft Co-op shop and gallery, the Te Kowhai Print Trust, The Quarry Studio Café, 14 artist studios and the Rust ramble sculpture trail.

The Quarry Arts Centre exists under the Northland Craft Trust, core funded by ASB and in receipt of regular funding from Whangarei District Council.

Quarry Office Open: Monday – Friday 9am – 4:30pm
Yvonne Rust Gallery Open: Monday – Sunday 9:30am – 4:30pm

Admission: Free


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Contact details: 
Andrea Beazley, Community Manager T: (09) 438 1215 E: Katherine McDermid-Smith, Arts Co-ordinator T: (09) 438 1215 E: Hayley Clark, Workshop & Event Co-ordinator T: (09) 438 1215 E: hayley@quarryarts.or

Written by

The Quarry Arts Centre

9 Jun 2015

The Quarry Arts Centre is a unique hub for Northland's creative community. Situated in a disused quarry in central Whangarei, the Quarry Arts Centre is a home to artist studios, a ceramics store, a community kiln, hire-able rooms for pottery and art, a delightful little cafe, and two galleries.