Quality Hotel Elms
456 Papanui Road
Phone: (64) 3 3553577
Fax: (64) 3 3520290
Arts & Museums
Built in the areas which were earlier hit by the earthquakes, this resurrected art studio displays a range of contemporary artwork. Owned by local artist Beverly Frost, this gallery holds its own exhibitions where upcoming artists and art lovers can share their work and discuss art. The works include themes of Realism, Abstract, Impacto, Symbolism, German Expressionism, Emotions and Landscapes among others. The studio also hosts music concerts that the attendees get to enjoy. Having rebuilt itself after the disastrous earthquake, the Art Box Studio has become a symbol of creative resurgence.
The School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury has a well-established reputation for producing some of New Zealand's finest artists. The School Gallery on campus offers a comprehensive program of exhibitions throughout the year. There are shows by current students and artists in residence, as well as exhibitions of contemporary and historical art curated by staff and students in coordination with local dealers and public galleries. The University also has on display its very own extensive art collection. Exhibitions at School of Fine Arts Gallery at the University of Canterbury change frequently. Call for exhibition timings, and additional information.
The Dobson Bashford Gallery is situated a short distance from the Christchurch Town Hall. The gallery specializes in contemporary fine arts, and it is possible to find a wide and interesting range here, from the work of new and emerging talents, to that of established artists who are at the top of their field. Exhibitors are drawn primarily from New Zealand and Australia, as well as further afield. Featured exhibits change approximately once every four weeks.
The Bealey Gallery offers fine art by local artists for exhibition and sale. The works are extremely unique and mainly in traditional mediums. Recent exhibitions have focused on landscapes and natural scenes in oils and watercolors, which draw their inspiration from the New Zealand countryside and wildlife. There is also a collection of prints to browse through, and the gallery offers a framing service. They also have a selection of hand-painted cards. Please call for open hours.
Cross a natural history museum with a child's fantasy bedroom and you have something approaching the Discovery Centre. Bright and funky, 3-13 year olds will have all their senses stimulated by jars full of weird biological specimens, quirky stuffed animals, drawers filled with animal skulls, a live bee colony, and all manner of animal puzzles and toys. The interesting levels, ramps and pits will suit the busier types, while parents can relax in cushioned comfort reading or playing with the quieter ones. Birthday parties and school holiday programmes are available to Discovery Club members. Timings vary seasonally.
Canterbury Museum dates back to 1870, and features seven buildings containing numerous displays, including the Antarctic and Victorian collections. There are also changing special exhibits and "hands-on" displays. The seven buildings do create a bewildering "rabbit warren" of spaces, so allow plenty of time for your visit. It is worth visiting the cafe, which overlooks the Botanical Gardens. Located close to the city and adjacent to the Arts Centre and the Avon river, you can either walk or catch a city tram to get here.
The Arthouse is a short distance from the busy Christchurch Arts Centre. It focuses on showcasing the work of respected local artist Colin Luxton, as well as a range of contemporary New Zealand art. While Luxton's modern and abstract works dominate the three-room gallery, there is also space for a variety of local artists' modernist and abstract paintings and sculptures. Featured artists change constantly.
Located in the Old Physics Building of The Arts Centre of Christchurch, Cave Rock Gallery displays a brilliant variety of works by local and New Zealand artists and craftspeople. A quiet, bright gallery, ringed with high windows, there are arresting artworks in ceramics and glass, wood, jewellery and fabrics, and handmade furniture. The objects in the gallery all have a strong visual appeal, inviting you to browse and enjoy. Call for additional information.
The Centre of Contemporary Art (COCA) occupies a unique building close to the city centre. It is Christchurch's oldest exhibiting gallery, highly regarded for its support for local and national artists. There are five spacious display areas, with 60 exhibitions a year by renowned, emerging and historical New Zealand artists. The collection contains over 600 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and other art works. "The Art Zone" is an exhibition space dedicated to children art. Original art is for sale and the centre offers hire, appraisal, and shipping and dispatch services.
Easily located on the ground floor of the Christchurch Arts Centre Galleria, the Woodcraft Gallery displays some of New Zealand's finest woodwork. Smooth, beautiful woods and rich grains draw the eye and hand. The items here are all made using native timbers: rimu, matai and kauri. It is possible to find almost anything, from wooden sculptures to tools for the kitchen, to a range of souvenirs. There are attractive turned bowls, handmade clocks, carvings, toys, and intriguing wooden puzzles. The gallery will pack and post for overseas visitors.
Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) was one of New Zealand's greatest scientists, and a pioneer of subatomic physics. His work led to the atomic model and an understanding of the structure of the nucleus, winning him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. This tiny museum display in the Arts Centre, not far from where he performed his early experiments, is dedicated to his life and works. Rutherford's Den was opened in 1978, and features a life-size diorama of Rutherford at work on his original research into the magnetization of iron. Admission: Free
The ConneXion Gallery employs a collective approach towards making and selling fine handmade jewelery at affordable prices. Works are displayed in a small space that can be found upstairs in the Arts Centre Galleria. The nine members of the cooperative are all local, working mainly in sterling silver, occasionally in copper and gold, and with inlay and enamel techniques. Their work is highly distinctive and various, the result of individual care and craftsmanship. There is usually a jeweler at work in the gallery.