Eryn Gribble with artists Daniel Phillips, Nicol Cheung and Maisie Chilton TresslerOpportunity Arts exhibits in Parliament

6 November 2019
Opportunity Arts, a Wellington creative space, is showcasing the artwork of self-taught artists in an exhibition at Parliament’s Bowen House Gallery until 5 December.

Signage about the exhibitionHosted by Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, the exhibition is called Opportunity Arts Visits Parliament.

Opportunity Arts was launched in 2018 and is one of a dozen community creative spaces in the Wellington region. Unlike these other spaces, it doesn’t have a physical base with regular art sessions. Instead, its role is to advocate, empower and provide practical support for artists of diverse backgrounds who can face barriers to participation in the arts.

Director and founder of Opportunity Arts Eryn Gribble describes the art in the exhibition as “unique, and some of the most challenging and exciting artworks that New Zealand has to offer”.

“We are passionate that with this mahi we can encourage social change and diversify the New Zealand contemporary art scene,” Eryn explains “We want to give a voice and platform to people who are often unheard and unseen within this community and in the wider society.”

Artist Denise Dennehy says she was excited about exhibiting her work at the Bowen House Gallery. “I love exhibiting. I just love it. It makes me feel warm inside and I sell artwork. Hopefully!”

Daniel Phillips, also featured in the exhibition, says: "I like to sell my art and the money helps me travel." 

Denise and Daniel are two of the 17 artists whose work is also be promoted in Opportunity Arts' online shop, launched at the exhibition opening.

Eryn is calling for everyone to visit the exhibition and view the artists’ work. “We want to invite all New Zealand art institutions, collectors and gallerists to visit. Come along with an open mind, be challenged by this work, be excited by it, and discover a new hidden gem.”

The Opportunity Arts exhibition runs from 7 November until 5 December at Bowen House Exhibition Space, entrance on 84 Lambton Quay, Wellington. The gallery is open 10am–3pm Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Collage of images from the opening of Opportunity Arts Visits Parliament

Opportunity Arts exhibits In Parliament


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