Weekend Sun   

New art walk aims to inspire

Sonya Korohina loves the pop of colour and generosity of Askew One’s piece that is one of the stops on the City Art Walk. Photo: John Borren.

Changing the conversation about the Tauranga CBD is what Sonya Korohina is aiming to do with a new art walk and app.

“I really want us to have fresh eyes on our city,” says Sonya.

The director of Supercut Projects has developed the City Art Walk and says she is sick of the dialogue around the CBD being “doom and gloom” about the empty shops, construction and parking.

“We need to just shift the conversation completely. We're going to be building and earthquake strengthening for a while and actually we have much to celebrate.”

Sonya says she and her team have fallen in love with the city again through doing their research to develop the project.

“We're viewing the city through a completely different lens.

“We've got all these businesses that are still here, they’re absolute heroes and the artworks are too.”

It is a self-guided experience featuring 20 artworks throughout the city centre. People can download the free app prior or pick up a map to do the walk.

Each piece will have a plaque with a QR code to access the app which will provide information about the artwork as well as directions to all the stops.

The beauty of having the art walk in a digital format is people don’t have to be in Tauranga to do it, says Sonya.

She took The Weekend Sun on a short tour of five of the artworks and you can see her enthusiasm for each piece as she goes over the details of the artist, their reason for the work and who it is commissioned by.

One of the stops is Askew One’s untitled graffiti art portraits on the rear wall of the Tauranga Art Gallery.

“What I love about this is he's taking portraiture, which traditionally, because it started back in Egyptian times, is something that was always for the wealthy or royalty, and instead what we've got is everyday people, then their faces representing us,” says Sonya.

Other stops include the Pōhutukawa trees on the waterfront by Kerama Taepa, Fin Dac’s Taiohi on Waihirere Lane and the stained glass windows in the Civic Arcade.

Sonya says the windows showcase the history Tauranga has of commissioning public art with the windows being installed in 1989 and there are other pieces dating back 40 years.

The full walk will take about an hour but it is designed to be enjoyed by people as they choose, be it in full or checking out a couple of pieces as they shop or grab a coffee. It is designed for all ages and includes a scavenger hunt for children.

The City Art Walk is launching October 17 as part of the Escape festival. The app is available through the website: cityartwalktga.stqry.app and maps will be available at the Tauranga Art Gallery, i-site, Tauranga Library and a few other CBD locations.

More on The Weekend Sun...