An integral part of contemporary art

Creative space: Sandz Studio and Gallery, Hamilton

Sandz Gallery and Studio and in Hamilton provides art tuition and exhibition opportunities for artists with intellectual disabilities, with a strong focus on support to become self-sufficient, independent artists.

Artwork by Sharon BraithwaiteIts main purpose is to ensure that disabled people have access to art, quality materials, tuition and exhibition space. Through the exhibition of their work, the artists are able to generate an income for themselves and for the studio. 

Bronwyn Mulgrew, studio tutor, says Sandz staff are proud of all the artists. “We promote their work as integral to the broad spectrum of contemporary art.”

Tiffany Collett, for example, is a regular artist at Sandz Studio. She was a finalist in the Artistic Achievement category in the 2013 Attitude Awards.

Her reputation has been building in the past two years with sales, commissions and participation in several national exhibitions such as Creative Species 3, a national exhibition at Pablos Art Studios’ ROAR! gallery in Wellington earlier this year.

Artwork by Cherie MellsoppAnother Sandz artist is Cherie Mellsop, whose work is popular. In 2009, Cherie won first prize in the IHC Telecom Art Awards. Her work has also featured in the COCA Anthony Harper Art Award exhibition and she is a regular finalist in the IHC Art Awards.

Cherie was one of four Sandz Studio finalists in the 2013 IHC Art Awards, along with Peter Smith, Natasha Ash and Sharon Braithwaite.

Every year, Sandz Gallery supports the IHC Art Awards by exhibiting the regional finalists’ work over July and August.

Success stories

In 2012, Sandz had some great success stories through its alliance with Arts Access Aotearoa. Several of its artists exhibited in Original Voices, an exhibition presented by Arts Access Aotearoa and curated by Stuart Shepherd.

Lorraine Pemberton receives a Highly Commended certificate award from the Hon Tariana TuriaAlso in 2012, Sandz Studio and Gallery was Highly Commended in the Big 'A' Creative Space Award, presented to the late Lorraine Pemberton, Team Leader, by Arts Access Aoetearoa. Sadly, Lorraine died suddenly in October 2013.

Sandz runs specialist workshops led by community artists. This exposes the attending artists to varying techniques and creates strong partnerships with art students and volunteers. It also hires the gallery to community artists.

“It is a collective environment where all participants can support, influence and inspire one another creatively,” Bronwyn says. “The production of artwork is an integral and essential part of communication.”

Sandz Gallery was established more than 12 years ago by IHC and IDEA Services (Intellectual Disability Empowerment in Action Services). IDEA Services and other disability organisations refer artists to the gallery.

The gallery is funded by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development.

Sandz Gallery and Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm.

For more information:
Maree Glass or Samuel Nickalls
Sandz Gallery and Studio
6 Kent St, Frankton Village
Hamilton 3204
T: 07 847 4344

Last updated 5 November 2013



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