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Art exhibition spaces
As the district's Public Gallery, Toi Mahara has an annual programme of high-calibre curated exhibitions and provides opportunities for Kāpiti Coast artists to exhibit. The gallery, located in Mahara Place in Waikanae, is operated by the Mahara Gallery Trust and receives funding from the Council, and is currently undergoing a rebuilding programme. Check out our Mahara Gallery upgrade page and the Mahara Gallery website for more information.
Email the Hub Lead at Ōtaki Library to ask about exhibiting at Ngā Wāwata.
The Roderick and Gillian Deane Community Art Space in the Paraparaumu Library is available to local artists and arts groups who may not have access to other galleries on the Kāpiti Coast. Exhibiting in the Art Space is free, and commission is not charged on sales. Make sure you have read the policy on sale of items.
The usual exhibition period is two weeks. There may be shorter periods available at times, and we usually allow a longer period over the Christmas/New Year break.
The gallery is often booked months ahead, so read the terms and conditions and submit a booking request early with your proposed exhibition and preferred dates. You can also email the Arts Advisor, to discuss your exhibition. We're keen to connect art exhibitions with Library or Council activities when we can, and may discuss timing and possible activities to achieve this.
The Art Space is booked at times for regular Library and Arts exhibitions, and may also be booked for other Council activities. This means we may not be able to allocate your preferred time slot, or we may need to reschedule your exhibition.
The Arts Advisor is the main contact for exhibitions in the Art Space. You can email the Arts Advisor at any time. You can also arrange with the Arts Advisor for a visit to the Art Space and to show you how to access and use the equipment.
When you set up, you'll need to pick up and sign for the access card to the equipment cupboard from the Welcome librarian. The access card only allows access to the cupboard, not to the library.
Double tap the access card to enable you to keep the door open or unlocked. Note: Ensure you double-tap to relock the cupboard door any time you are not physically in the room and make sure any equipment you are not using is locked away (particularly the library’s data projector trolley).
Return the access card to the Welcome Desk when you are not attending the Art Space.
If you are setting up or taking down an exhibition in out of work hours, you will need to arrange afterhours access with the Arts Advisor.
For exhibitions that require tikanga, we can make arrangements to ensure the Art Space is respected during the setup before blessing. During setup, traffic to the meeting room can be directed through the library. It's important to ensure the tikanga for “opening” the space is carried out as soon as setup is complete, to avoid limiting access to groups who've booked the meeting room afterhours.
Setup and takedown of exhibitions
We allow an afternoon or at most a day for exhibitors to set up, usually during working hours.
Note that Library staff are not available to help with setup or takedown.
You'll need to bring your own step ladder or ladder if you need one, as the library does not have one.
Technical details about the space and installation
There are three walls with a combination of a track hanging system and pinboards that can be used (not all walls have both options).
- The front of the gallery opens off the library foyer.
- The rear of the gallery has two swing doors that open through to a meeting room.
- There is a track lighting system with small spotlights which can be adjusted.
We can offer suggestions about how best to arrange your exhibition. We recommend you come in and have a look if you're not familiar with the space. Read through the following information carefully.
Total floor area: approximately 15 square metres (3 metres x 5 metres).
One wood veneer wall, approximately 3.5 metres wide.
The art exhibition space offers a number of ways to display artworks. The library has hanging straps and easels for mounting artworks, and items can be placed on plinths and the window shelf. Locked cabinets may be available on request for small items. There are also tailor’s models for exhibiting clothing.
This is a professional system used by galleries. It consists of a track placed on two of the walls; wire hanging straps slide into the track, and each wire can take one or two adjustable hooks from which artworks can be hung. Hooks are adjusted using an Allen key. Artworks will need to be strung to use this system. The hooks are large and may show above a boxed canvas frame if it is simply placed on the hook and not strung. The hanging system is in place on the two main walls.
There are four pinboard wall panels - dimensions are:
- 4.8 metres wide x 1.2 metres high
- 1.4 metres wide x 1.2 metres high
- 1.2 metres wide x 1.2 metres high
- 0.67 metres wide x 1.2 metres high.
The pinboards are great for displaying drawings, lighter paintings (small boxed canvas), photographs, quilts, weaving or text. Pins and velcro dots are recommended, but please NO blu-tack on the pinboard!
We have opened up the outside wall to allow better lighting and for people to see the artwork from outside. Artworks can be put on easels or plinths alongside the window. We have two larger easels (on request) and four smaller easels that can be placed in the window area so people outside can see them.
We have two plinths and can provide secure cabinets for display of smaller items. Note Council does not guarantee security for items in the Art Space, or take liability for damage or theft.
Floor space – artists are welcome to make use of the floor space for displaying sculpture or an installation artwork. You're welcome to bring other plinths and props to display your art. There needs to be enough clearance to walk around the space.
The Library and Arts teams are interested in collaborating with exhibitors and aligning exhibitions with activities in the library. We may ask you to exhibit on certain dates to connect in with our programmes, or if you would consider contributing activities – for example, workshops as part of the exhibition. People are always very interested when artists are present in the exhibition creating their work.
Props such as driftwood or stones can be used as long as they will not cause damage to the floor covering or impede people walking around the art space.
Health and safety
The exhibitor is responsible for hanging and ensuring safety of the artworks. Free-standing artworks and furniture such as plinths or cabinets should not block the pathway to the meeting room (note there are two doors). Exhibitors should also ensure there are no trip hazards or any danger of injury caused by narrow passageways or artworks falling off their hangings.
Sale of items
The Library is not able to manage sales. If artworks are available for sale, prices should be listed in a catalogue which makes clear the potential buyer must approach the artist directly. We ask that sold artwork stays in place until after the exhibition closes.
(See Library Policy governing the sale of items.)
The Library has a policy of no alcohol on site (including the Library Meeting Room) during opening hours. You must request permission to serve alcohol eg, for exhibition openings outside of opening hours.
The Art Space is very popular, and any kind of interference or theft is extremely rare. However, the Library does not guarantee security for art works during opening hours.
Please also note that people walk through the Art Space to get to meetings in the Library Meeting Room. If you are at all concerned about security, we suggest you organise someone to sit in attendance during busy times.
Council does not have insurance cover for theft or damage to items left in the Art Space and does not accept liability for theft or damage. Artists can arrange their own insurance to cover their artwork.
Access to the equipment cupboard
Approach the Library Welcome desk for access. Note library staff are not available to help with setting up the exhibition.
With certain conditions, artists are able to sell their work and generally no commission is charged.
Library policy is:
"To avoid issues around commercial gain any artworks displayed in a public library should not be advertised for sale. The artworks could, however, have contact details of the artist."
In practice this means that while prices can not be attached to artworks, artists are able to have an information sheet or small catalogue which gives price details and the artists contact details for sales. The Art Space Coordinator has examples of simple catalogue sheets.
Library staff are not involved in the sale of artworks. This needs to be dealt with directly between the potential buyer and the artist. Usually, sold artwork will remain in place until after the closing date of the exhibition.
Booking the Paraparaumu Library meeting room (beside the Art Space) for associated meetings or openings: Paraparaumu Library Meeting Room (note bookings are not managed by library staff, and you'll need to read the terms and conditions for this venue also).