Queenstown Art Society: The Past, the Present and the Future


Queenstown Art Society: The Past, the Present and the Future
May 16, 2022


Jun 12, 2022

Exhibition celebrating 60 years of the Queenstown Art Society.

This exhibition presents a selection of art by current members of the Queenstown Art Society alongside favourite works from the Society’s Art Collection 1980-2013 and an archival display that tells the story of the Society from its inception in the 1960s.


The Queenstown Art Society grew out of the success of the Whakatipu district’s centennial art exhibition in November 1962, which showed more than 100 paintings by 22 artists plus a selection of pottery and craft in the Lake County Council Board room on the corner of Stanley and Ballarat Streets in central Queenstown. From that time on, the annual exhibition was held at a number of different venues, including the Society’s own Arts Centre in the former Wakatipu High School Building in Stanley Street from its establishment in 1981 until 2021. In November 2022, the Society’s popular Annual Art Awards Exhibition will be held at Te Atamira.


The Society became affiliated with the Association of NZ Arts Societies in 1977 with a membership of 87, a third of which were working artists. Throughout its history QAS has supported the growth of arts and crafts in the Whakatipu region through exhibitions, art workshops, artists’ mentorship and support, community outreach programmes and by providing artists’ studios at the Queenstown Arts Centre until the closure of the StanleyStreet building in 2022.


This year marks a transition point in the history of the Queenstown Arts Society. By celebrating the foundations of the group and showcasing a diverse range of work by current members, including painting, sculpture, jewellery, textiles and ceramics, this exhibition highlights the breadth of artistic talent in the Whakatipu Basin.

Image: Life Painting class in QAS rooms circa 1980. Source: QAS archive. Courtesy of QAS.

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