RITA ANGUS: Life & Vision
The TOWER Gallery, Level 4. Free entry.

The Rita Angus Season...

Self-Portrait drawing class.
Saturday 16, 12 noon–1.30pm. The Marae, Level 4. Free entry.
Rita Angus spent a lifetime creating dynamic self-portraits. Local artist Jo Thapa teaches you how to look closely at your face and draw your own portrait.


..Life Drawing Classes by Jo Thapa..
Wellington High School Adult Education Night Classes
249 Taranaki Street, Wellington

Life Drawing - Absolute Beginners

Do you have trouble drawing and painting people? Gain confidence in this fun introductory course that will see you improving your observational and drawing skills by learning basic drawing fundamentals and experimenting with new and interesting media. Bring two large bulldog clips or masking tape and an A2 sketch pad, 4B pencil, rubber and conte charcoal to the first session (approximate cost $30), with additional materials to be discussed at the first session.

Course Code: 4012 . Cost: $118 . Room: S204 . Course Duration - 6 weeks

7 August - 11 Sept 2008
Thursdays: 6.00-8.30 pm

Creating Emotive Expression in Life Drawing - Intermediate

A fun and challenging course which concentrates on techniques that will help you develop your unique expressive interpretation of the live model. Through exploration of colour, texture, line, composition, light and a look into art history, learn how to create emotive impact and drama in your work, realizing your potential in a relaxed and friendly environment. Bring two large bulldog clips or masking tape, an A2 sketch pad, 4B pencil, biro, Indian Ink, a small and a large brush and a water container to the first session (approximate cost $30), with additional materials to be discussed at the first session.

Course Code: 4014 . Cost: $110 . Room: S204 . Course Duration - 6 weeks

16 Oct - 20 Nov 2008
Thursdays: 6.00-8.30 pm

PLACES STILL AVAILABLE . Enrol Now - http://www.cecwellington.ac.nz

July 08 Holiday Programme
Cosy up and get creative at 'Capital E' this July School Holidays.


Medieval Madness Launch
Suitable for all ages

Join us at Capital E on the 5th July to launch Medieval Madness - a fun FREE family event with an activity for everyone who aspires to royalty!

Travel back to the time of noteworthy jesters and remarkable jousters to assist artists Fifi Colston and Jo Thapa transform the Capital E Playground into a grand Medieval Castle. There will be storytelling by Moira Wairama and Tony Hopkins, and the incredible Knights from The Order of the Boar will demonstrate their fiendish Medieval Battle Techniques.

Dress up for this remarkable occasion and you could win a prize!

WHEN: Sat 5 July

TIME: 10am – 2pm

DURATION: 4 hours

VENUE: Capital E Playground & Foyer

PRICE: FREE                           http://fificolston.blogspot.com/


Drawing inspiration

Wellington illustrator Jo Thapa has turned her drawing skills into a successful small business

By Benjamin Heather / Monday, February 05 2007

When Jo Thapa started her design degree at Massey in 2000, her computer knowledge went about as far as point and click.

"Before I went to Massey all I could do was Hotmail. I used to lose the cursor. I'd save things to the English department files, never to be seen again."

Now, two years after graduating, she uses her advanced computer skills to create unique digital illustrations published in everything from children's books to safety pamphlets.

Jo was born in Wellington, leaving when she was 12 to spend her early years trundling through many places and jobs before coming back to study as an adult. "I did all sorts of things. I travelled, had a stained glass windows business, and worked as a bus driver in Adelaide. Travel was my biggest education. It just opened my mind to different ways of doing things."

Jo started out on her career path when she changed her major at Massey from photography to illustration. But she'd been interested in visual art from a young age.

"I really enjoyed art at school. Something like this was always in the back on my mind."

JO THAPAShe's now busy running a one-woman business, selling her quirky creative images to a wide variety of publications. Technology continues to be a vital part of Jo's work, crucial in creating the ambience of her particular style. "It depends on your style, but for me, creating my collage-like aesthetic, programs like Photoshop and Freehand are crucial. About 80% of the work I do would require computer work."

For aspiring illustrators Jo says a passion for drawing and plenty of practical, organisational skills are both important.

"If you do illustration full time then you pretty much have to freelance. A lot of illustrators are illustrator-slash-something else, like graphic design or teaching."

She advises university students to do lots of graphic design papers and really pay attention to lectures on branding and marketing.

"You have to be like any small business owner: you have to be practical. I would recommend doing a small business course before becoming a freelancer.

"And it definitely helps to be computer savvy."

When Jo started freelancing straight out of university she initially struggled with working from home.

"If you're operating from home it can feel like you are working in a void."

JO THAPAShe now works in a studio with four other illustrators, all bouncing ideas off each other and sharing their expertise. "Socially and creatively it really helps. It's important to get a studio with people you know who are doing similar things. Just because you freelance doesn't mean you have to be lonely."

Jo says the best thing about her job is the flexibility, while the worst thing is the irregularity of paid work.

"It's often feast or famine, in terms of paid work. On the other hand, you have power over your career. You can be as successful as you want to be."

JO THAPAShe's already worked on a number of projects around Wellington, and would like to be involved in more projects that have a positive social impact. "I like to make a positive difference. Then sometimes it just makes you feel good that you're making people laugh."

From: Activ8 Magazine February 2007

Childhood Fantasies Unleashed in Wellington

By Sadie Preval

26August – 2 September 2006

Toi Poneke Gallery

Wellington Arts Centre

61 Abel Smith Street.

Three female artists from Wellington and the Kapiti Coast have joined forces to put on a magical exhibition called Unleashed at the Toi Poneke Gallery. I was allowed a sneak preview of the work before opening night and I found it utterly enchanting. While the three painters have very different styles they have all worked in a figurative style, drawing on the ideas of childhood fantasies and other worlds as subjects in their work.

I had a brief chat with the women after they finished hanging up the paintings and was curious to know whether Wellington had been an inspiration in their work.

Stephanie Woodman

Stephanie has been tutoring art for the last twelve years. Her paintings in this exhibition are of smooth plate faced girls with large saucer eyes and long tendrils of hair curling in the sky. There is a fairytale sense of perfection, beauty and escapism in the images. In my favorite painting the ‘princess' is riding sidesaddle on a giant Weta. When I asked Stephanie about Wellington and her work she denied any link;

“No my work is more inspired by a different world, the inspiration was images more out of my head and the idea was to create a different world from the New Zealand iconic stuff, so to me it was to create another different world.”

Dee Guja

Dee was a student of Stephanie and has been painting seriously for three years having previously worked in the theatre and as a writer/editor. Her paintings are of children playing in their own imaginary worlds. They play games of Cowboys and Indians in the back garden and Doctors and Nurses in the bedroom. Unlike the other two women who had created other worlds, I could see my New Zealand childhood in all of these soft narrative images. Not surprisingly Dee was the only one to admit Wellington had played a part in the creation of her work;

“Well I grew up in Kelburn so some of my outdoor paintings are memories of Kelburn, childhood and playing games in the streets, up on Central Terrace. So they are sort of inspired in that way, and they are definitely very New Zealand and the telegraph poles and the skies are very Wellington”

Jo Thapa

Jo has a background in illustration and enjoys visual narrative. Her paintings for the Unleashed series are colorful and layered. The images feature impossibly cute small girls with large eyes peering out of their childhood fantasies with an adult sense of wisdom. They are young but seem aware of life's limitations.

Jo confessed she was sick of painting small girls and joked that maybe her next series would be wrinkly old men. She like Stephanie could see little of Wellington in her work.

“No I tried to create a different world for each character, but I do have my token fantail, that's probably about as Wellington as it gets”

The exhibition is being held in the Gallery space of The Wellington Arts center until this Saturday and is well worth a look. I myself am looking forward to the free wine and nibbles of opening night.

In case you are wondering, the Wellington Arts Centre recently celebrated its first birthday and changed its name to Toi Poneke. Toi Poneke roughly means Wellington Art and they are hoping that the name change will make people more aware of the facility. I must confess that I myself have walked past the building on Abel Smith Street nearly everyday for a year and have never once ventured inside. The centre has 28 studios where artists can reside, art classes are held there and rehearsal space can be booked.

From: Victoria University Media Studies 28 August 2006

   O R I E N T A L  B A Y  S E A S C A P E  M U R A L  A  W I N N E R !

    The Oriental Bay Seascape mural, highlighting Wellington’s diverse marine wildlife, has won a Wellington Civic Trust award.
The Wellington City Council/Department of Conservation initiative, created by nine local artists with advice from marine specialists, was joint winner of the civic/corporate award with the council’s Oriental Bay enhancement project. The awards were announced in August. Unveiled
in June 2004, the seascape was created along a 90-metre long retaining
wall on Oriental Parade. Fifteen new marine creatures, painted by Jo Thapa, Julian Knapp, Aaron Frater and Hamish Pilbrow, were added during Conservation Week this year. As a creative cornerstone of Wellington’s new Oriental Beach the mural will change to highlight marine issues, and be a regular feature of Seaweek, reflecting each year’s theme.
For more information about the Wellington Civic Trust awards check out the Wellington Civic Trust’s website: www.wellingtoncivictrust.org.

Artists Jo Thapa and Julian Knapp with the marine wildlife they added to the Oriental Bay
seascape mural in August. Photos: Sue Galbraith /DOC.

From "Footnotes" News and information about the Department of Conservation in Wellington Conservancy.
Occassional Newsletter Issue 24, November 2005

Biennial Wellington Civic Trust Awards

Wellington Civic Trust Award Winners 2005

Spectacular artwork and imaginative urban design were winners at the Wellington Civic Trust Awards announced on 22 August 2005.

Well known stonemason Carl Gifford has created a fantastic sculpture garden in Hapy Valley Road using stone and recyled materials.
Carlucci Land was the winner of the Community and Volunteer section.
The joint winners of the Civic and Corporate section were the Oriental Bay Waterfront Enhancement and the Oriental Bay Seascape Memorial.
You can visit each one as you walk around the city and see the photos and descriptions for all the nominations below.

The biennial awards, kindly sponsored by Oroya and Pat Day, have become a highlight of the Trust's programme. This year 17 entries were received and judged by a panel headed by media personality Maggie Barry. Over 100 people attended the Award Ceremony, opened by the Mayor Kerry Prendergast and held at Turnbull House, to celebrate these achievements for our city.

Civic Trust Award Nominations 2005


* City Villas
* Coastal Track Upgrade
* Fran Wilde Walk
* Hotel Wellington
* James Hector Memorial
* Oriental Bay Enhancement
* Oriental Bay Seascape Mural
* Waititi Landing
* Wellington Rugby Training Centre
* Zephyrometer


* Carlucci Land
* Hungarian Memorial Garden
* "Polish Children" Commemorative Plaque
* Seatoun "Lifestream-Seaform" Sculpture
* Signal Boxes
* St Mary of the Angels Gardens
* Trelissick Park Walking Track

From www.wellingtoncivictrust.org/events/

Public Art Surrounds Glover Park                                          12.08.05
Construction Site

The renovation of Wellington’s Glover Park is beginning with the establishment of the city’s newest outdoor art gallery. Beginning this week, 17 new murals will take their place along the construction site hoarding.

The bold new creative designs, each on 1.8m x 4.8m sections of plywood, will surround the Ghuznee and Garrett Street frontages of Glover Park. The first panels go up today (Friday).

"These are all original works of art, and mural styles range from abstract to figurative to boldly graphical," said Eric Holowacz, Arts Programmes Manager for Wellington City Council. "They will bring art to the street and engage pedestrians."

City Council Urban Designer Peter Kundycki, overseeing the Glover Park redesign, worked with staff at the new Arts Centre to invite local painters to submit designs. "We were hoping for a range of ideas and designs, and were overwhelmed by the quality of what came back."

Seventeen artists have been working since May to complete their designs.

Illustrator and conceptual artist Bruce Mahalski, who works from a studio at the new Arts Centre, designed an underwater scene featuring his trademark marine life illustrations of fish, sharks, and other creatures.

Naomi Clements, a painter originally from Thames and now based at the new Arts Centre, designed one of the more graphical murals for Glover Park. Her new work contains overlapping street signs, maps, and visual references to urban life in Wellington. "It's based on things from the city and images that surrounded me when I moved here," she explains.

Nia, a concrete poet/artist, has created a word play display to coincide with Word Festival 2005 that explores different ways of viewing Glover Park, including cut out viewing windows.

Other local artists contributing to the Glover Park murals include Shay Lauder, Lynn Baird, Michael Hawkins, Jeanne McAskill, Jo Thapa, and ten others. Adding to the mix will be six emerging graffiti artists who will complete new aerosol art murals on-site in coming weeks.

Work on the Glover Park redevelopment is expected to be completed early in the New Year, and the murals will remain on view until the end of construction.
From www.wellington.govt.nz/news/display-item.php?id=2347

Peephole art replaces banned work                          by DAVE BURGESS

The Controversial Glover Park artwork removed on the orders of Wellington City Council CEO Gary Poole has finally been replaced.
   The original work by local artist Nia featured the line "I spy with my little eye something beginning with d" and listed things such as drug addicts, drunks and dastardly developers. It caused a storm of controversy and was removed on August 16 after Mr Poole deemed it offensive to Wellington's homeless.
   Although Nia is overseas she has been involved in discussions with the council's urban designer Peter Kundycki over the content of the replacement work.
   Wellington artist Jo Thapa was commissioned to design and paint the new work, which was put up on the Ghuznee Street frontage of Glover Park on September 13. It is her second work to be included in the mural surrounding the park during its $1.2 million upgrade.
   "Nia liked the idea of people watching people, and of spying," Ms Thapa says. "Peter also wanted holes in it because Nia's was the only one with holes (to view progress on the park's upgrade). They finally decided they wanted it to feature dogs and people with holes for eyes".
   Ms Thapa says the sinister black-coated people in the painting loosely represent spies, and the dogs featured in the large artwork are painted in a deliberate minimalist style.
   "They are that sort of black and white cartoon aesthetic that is a follow-on from Nia's work which was all black and white," she says.
   Ms Thapa is also putting the finishing touches to three wooden "cut-out" dogs that will be placed in Glover Park during its upgrade. They will be repositioned regularly and will be visible through her mural's peepholes.
   The council paid 17 local artists $1000 each to create their respective artworks. The names of these artists appear on Ms Thapa's mural.
   The park's upgrade will be completed in early 2006.

From "The Wellingtonian", September 22, 2005. page 5