Top
  >  Culture   >  Nelson – culture & art scene where to go and what’s happening events
Nelson, New Zealand @shannon_w_teaching

Toasty climate, laid down atmosphere who would not want to be an artist in Nelson?

Sunny weather, beaches, rivers and vineyards to linger in, it’s no wonder artists are drawn to a Nelson lifestyle. Nelson is a creative hub for painters, sculptures and glass artists from the world-renowned Hoglund Art Glass to emerging artists. Nelson is where “our ordinary is other people’s extraordinary.” rings loud and clear in the art scene. Plan your holiday around the festival season of the annual Art Expo and Arts Festival in spring or the Fringe Festival in autumn with its pop up street artists. A day trip to Tasman Village is heralded with a homage to Nelson art with a stainless steel recycled silhouette cutouts of birds found in the Moutere inlet. Or perhaps a trip to Mapu to check out the wharf galleries. Nelson doesn’t disappoint dedicated art buffs.

Nelson with its creative credentials is an ideal shopping location. It’s hard to beat an irresistible find and Nelson will not disappoint.

BEST TIME TO GO

Museums and galleries are perfect rainy day places to visit. Year round however for regional museum check opening hours in the low season (winter).

NELSON SUMMER MUSIC AND ART EVENTS
  • TAHUNA SUMMER SOUNDS

Tahuna Summer Sounds getting the beach vibe rocking with two pop up venues one month apart. A varied entertainment programme suitable for all ages groups and tastes at the well known beach, Tahuna.

  • NELSON SUMMER MOVIES AL FRESCO

Another visitor favourite is the Summer Movies Al Fresco with outdoor movies with over 14 screenings throughout the region. The giant screens have English subtitles for the deaf, hard of hearing and second language viewers. Temporary screens are positioned in parks with plenty of flat grassy surfaces and accessible toilets. With Nelson’s balmy warm summer evenings a perfect visitor free experience to watch a movie, savour the sunset and picnic with friends.

  • NELSON ARTS FESTIVAL

The arts festival is a visitor must with open studios and galleries joining the fun of art and artisan talent in full party mode.

MARKETFEST FRIDAYS

Nelson downtown is reimaged, on Friday evenings with banished vehicles being replaced with pop up stalls, live music, street dance performances and kids entertainment from the classic face painting to showcasing hand traditional henna techniques. Rain or shine the event is making it a reliable outdoor calendar happening. If you want a hand knitted cosy hat or one of a kind jewellery this is the place to be. Food stalls showcasing local producers means nothing leaves hungry. This is a winter regular Friday that happens in July.

MARCHFEST FESTIVAL

Previous years Marketfest has been held in Founders Heritage Park. Marchfest is a unique craft beer and music festival celebrating its 15th year. Held in Nelson the traffic free Founders Park is a great location for craft beer and music festivals celebrating March and what Nelson has to offer visitors.

NCMA

NCMA Nelson is a community hub for all things musical. Acting as a performance space watch out for new and emerging talent performing in the Nelson School of Music Auditorium or the performance space in the Rainey Wing.

NCMA is a non-profit, charitable organisation and operates with generous support from Nelson City Council in the form of an annual grant as well as funding from a small number of key funding partners.

Nelson School of Music – a fine heritage building,renowned for its acoustics.

THEATRE ROYAL

The elaborate Victorian theatre (1878) offers a classic venue for national and international tours. The Theatre Royal in Nelson is over 130 years old, making it one of the oldest wooden theatres in New Zealand. Before the theatre closed in 2005, around 22,000 visitors a year enjoyed the theatre and dance performed by countless numbers of groups. With the team of volunteers, support of the local community and local government the Theatre Royal continues to be a world class stage for visiting performers.

Nelson Civic Theatre

Originally built as an auditorium in the 1930’s the venue became a cinema before falling into disrepair. Dedicated volunteers marshalled community support with the result of an art deco theatre, the home of audio/visual technology, and armchair seating. The theatre is a great place for an evening out with a selection of cinematic and media experiences, from blockbusters, to independent films and a venue for local film creators.

Capitol Theatre

This fully restored stage venue started life as a movie theatre in the late 1920’s and now plays host to world class touring performers as well as productions by local actors, directors, set designers and filmmakers. The Capitol Theatre is also the stage on which generations of youngsters have strutted their stuff in community productions before taking a bow in front of the parents and family. The Capitol Theatre is home to live theatre, classical ballet and contemporary dance theatre, classical and contemporary music, comedy and a variety of other performances. If in town or planning your visit be sure to check upcoming concerts.

BISHOP SUTER MEMORIAL ART GALLERY

Bishop Suter Memorial Art Gallery – Te Aratoi o Whakatū is the public arts gallery of the Nelson Tasman region. The buildings are home to the original art gallery, a theatre, cafe and gift shop. The Suter offers a dynamic range of exhibitions and education programmes. The Suter gallery is art, culture and heritage wrapped up in one building. Bishop Suter (Anglican) founded the Bishopdale Sketching Club in 1889. His widow donated his art collection to the newly opened Suter Memorial Art Gallery. The building was designed by Frederick de Jersey Clere, Wellington architect. The building opened in May 1899.

Refinery Artspace

Contemporary, perhaps contentious or challenging art has a place in Nelson. Arts Council Nelson runs the Refinery Artspace on Halifax Street, where they hold events and exhibitions to provide the community with an accessible and stimulating art space.

DOWN UNDER AND PRACTICAL - NELSON WEEKEND MARKET

Celebrated artists, sculptures, jewellers, potters and ceramic artisans could have a pop up stall at the well regarded Nelson Saturday market.

OVER THE HILL - MOTUEKA SUNDAY MARKET

Excellent timing with the doyenne of street markets open on Sunday. Local artists have permanent stalls at the Motueka Sunday Market making Nelson a must go destination for market visitors. Your weekend is full of engagements from markets to museums and galleries to visit.

MUSEUMS – NELSON

NELSON REGIONAL MUSEUM

Regional history gallery greets visitors on the ground floor with temporary exhibitions upstairs. Exhibitions are focused on local artists, topical subject matter or significant cultural themes. The Nelson Provincial Museum is located at Town Acre 445, the same site as the original museum in 1842.

TIP

Upper floor to view vibrant stained glass window featuring New Zealand’s native flora and fauna.

Nelson Classic Car Museum

Regional history gallery greets visitors on the ground floor with temporary exhibitions upstairs. Exhibitions are focused on local artists, topical subject matter or significant cultural themes. The Nelson Provincial Museum is located at Town Acre 445, the same site as the original museum in 1842.

TIP

Upper floor to view vibrant stained glass window featuring New Zealand’s native flora and fauna.

NELSON WEARABLE ARTS COLLECTION

World of WearableArt (WOW) has been embracing the worlds of art, design and fashion and bringing them together into a theatrical performance. The first WOW Awards Show took place back in 1987 under a rain-soaked marquee in rural Nelson, New Zealand. What began as a small, local competition, The World of WearableArt Awards grew into a theatrical event that attracts entries from more than 40 countries. After the Wellington celebrations the costumes are carefully transported to their permanent home in Nelson.

FOUNDERS PARK

Heritage is a winner in an ethnographic village with authentic character buildings nestled in the extensive gardens of Founders Park. The colonial past is replicated with relocated original buildings including a fire truck. The importance of horses as a mode of transport is explained with various open air buildings such as stables, then the era of the railway is captured with the Railway Society operating the heritage diesel train with all the thrills of the Nelson to Glenhope line. workhorse of the skies exhibit of a Bristol Freighter Plane. Nelson’s place as hops producer is proudly explained at the Hop and Beer Museum.

Gifts are available at the Founders shop open 7 days 10am-4.30pm.

HIGGINS HERITAGE PARK HISTORIC TRANSPORT MUSEUM

The Historic Transport Museum (established 2003) is supported by dedicated volunteers who wished to preserve Nelson’s transport past. Equipment, machinery, artefacts and memorabilia are part of the collection. Wednesday is ‘potter day’ for restorations and a great reason to visit to chat to the locals about their projects. Be careful though you might be roped in to help.

Ross Higgins’ vision of saving old redundant steam machinery into a steam museum, is a foundation attraction of the current Higgins Heritage Park. Displays, open days and Field Days having been held since 1980.

INTERESTING TIP: KNIFE MAKING WORKSHOP

Always wanted to try your hand at a forge. Make a Knife operate blacksmithing workshops or knife making. Forge a knife from raw steel to a blade you will treasure forever. Using the traditional Blacksmith tool kit of forge, hammer and anvil we first forge and shape the blade. Once forged, a little tidying up with the file or grinder can be done prior to heat treating and attaching your handle.

Location

222 Pigeon Valley Rd, Pigeon Valley 7096

GOLDEN BAY MACHINERY & EARLY SETTLERS MUSEUM

An old Cheese Factory is an appropriate site for the museum. The early tractors, farm machinery and implements, vehicles, horse gear and a wide range of settlers’ items look at home among the factory rafters. A working steam section with “Steam Up” days held at Easter, Labour Weekend and Christmas/New Year. A pioneer kitchen with a wood and coal range working on these days, and join in the sing a-longs accompanied by piano

Location

869 Collingwood-Bainham Road, Rockville.

Open daily. Admission is by donation.

GOLDEN BAY MUSEUM

While in Takaka make sure you visit the Museum, located in the shopping centre. The diorama in the front window depicts Abel Tasman 1642 meeting with local Maori. There are displays of Maori and European history of the area. The museum has an extensive pictorial, photographic and document collection for the area used by researchers and archaeologists.

Located: Takaka main shopping street

Open every day except Sunday between 10.00 – 4.00pm

AORERE CENTRE MUSEUM

Discover the rich history of western Golden Bay, from early Maori arrivals to European settlement. Local stories feature agriculture, industry, gold, shipwrecks, lighthouses and the Collingwood fires. Open Daily 10-dusk. Admission by donation.

Location

2 Tasman Street

COLLINGWOOD MUSEUM

Discover the rich history of western Golden Bay, from early Maori arrivals to European settlement. Local stories feature agriculture, industry, gold, shipwrecks, lighthouses and the Collingwood fires. Open Daily 10-dusk. Admission by donation.

Location

2 Tasman Street

MAPUA MARITIME MUSEUM

The Port Mapua Maritime Museum is located in the original Mapua wharf building on one of the few remaining historic working wharves in New Zealand. The wharf is the focal hub of the village. The rich collection of photographs is fascinating to see the various stories of the working wharf and the video interactive displays along with maritime memorabilia detailing the wharf’s history.

The Museum is supported and managed by volunteers under the auspices of the Mapua Boat Club.

Open 7 days a week, 9am-4pm

Location

Mapua Wharf

MOTUEKA DISTRICT MUSEUM

Built in 1913, this brick building replaced an older wooden structure from 1866. In the beginning both high school and primary students attended classes in this building

The school was a focal point for the community hosting dances, boxing matches and flower shows. A war memorial was built on the grounds in 1922 making the school a key stop for visiting dignitaries such as Lord Bledisloe and Governor-General Sir Charles Fergusson. The memorial was relocated to Pah St in 1955/56. One of the more interesting exhibits is the story of tobacco and its role in the Motueka district economy.

Open December to March. Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm. Sunday 10am to 2pm. April to November. Tuesday to Friday 10am to 3pm. Sunday

Location

Main road Motueka

Unique journeys, personal adventures.

Related articles

Summary
Nelson - culture & art scene where to go and what’s happening events
Article Name
Nelson - culture & art scene where to go and what’s happening events

post a comment