Exhibiting: Artist Lia Embil is exhibiting at Queenstown Contemporary gallery's 'Our Artists' exhibition this month and also using gallery space to prepare for a solo show in July


Due to the the economic situation, a Queenstown gallery space has been reclaimed for further exhibitions, starting this week.

Since June last year, Five Mile’s developer has let artist Marc Blake use large vacant ground-floor space in Craigs Investment Partners House for his Queenstown Contemporary gallery, for free.

In March, he hosted a exhibition, one of the resort’s largest, featuring 80 artists from Queenstown and Central Otago.

Thanks to the Covid-19 slowdown slowing down the developer’s plans, however, Blake’s been given a new lease of life on this space – and he’s just opened ‘Our Artists’ an exhibition featuring lockdown works from 14 local artists “to help bring some much-needed life and colour back into our town”.

“We’ve got it probably until the end of the year – we’ve already got shows booked out till the end of September and probably October.

“This gives us another incredible opportunity to provide much-needed opportunities for local artists to exhibit work and for residents to check it out.”

Blake says in tough times like these, “the arts really shine through and help bring vibrancy and positivity back into the community”.

“That’s why I am doing everything I can to try to fill the gaping holes in our current arts infrastructure, and it’s developers like Five Mile who really understand this.”

The only problem, he says, is the ban on mass gatherings means he can’t hold exhibition openings right now “we’re all hanging out for a good party”.

Blake says his good fortune in getting back his space, temporarily, does highlight the need for a permanent world-class arts centre for all art forms.

“Opportunities to help create a real art industry and arts and cultural tourism in Queenstown would be something that not only assists in rebuilding our town right now, post-Covid-19, but will also help generations to come.”

Home creations to get public showing


Lockdown got the creative juices flowing for many and now there’s an opportunity to display quarantine masterpieces in a public exhibition.

Queenstown Arts Centre’s calling in photos, paintings, drawings, sculptures, music and more for its lockdown exhibition, being held between June 12 and July 11.

Coordinator Andie King says “there’ll be a little bit of everything” on display.

“Everyone in the community became really into the arts during lockdown, picking up paint brushes and what they found in the cupboard.

“I encourage kids to get involved, because they do some awesome stuff.”

It costs $10 for adults to enter – kids are free – and there’s a three-piece limit per entrant.

Entry forms are on the art centre’s website and must be submitted by this Friday.