Nov 2016 - Feb 2017
- a free public programme of creativity open to all, at and around Mairangi Arts Centre.
- Provided with support of Creative Communities Scheme.

"having interests, curiosities, and good feelings are the main energy of suburban regeneration"*

"our neighbourhood offers an incredible variety of learning labs"

"a small workshop for free creation, open to all who wish to use it"

sign up for updates about summer open workshop and future programmes

check our archive log of what happened HERE


- see the archive log
- follow Mairangi Arts Centre on Twitter or Facebook
- ideas? feelings? do something together? email/txt/call Chris Berthelsen / 022-0854-866 - ALWAYS open!

- - DONE! and enjoyed

loose pARTs workshop (Jan 09-18 2017)

A free in/outdoor art workshop for all ages and abilities at Mairangi Arts Centre!

Back by 'popular' 'demand'

Humans and some animals created things, sounds, stories, buildings and experiments with 'all kinds of stuff' in this always open activity in the MAC galleries and the public green space behind MAC.

It was open to anyone who wished to participate - children, people with or without 'gold' cards, various abilities.

Photos and videos HERE

Mairangi Organic Making Space (Dec 2016 - Feb 2017)

Mairangi Organic Making Space is an invitation to spend time making, doing and 'making-do'. It is a kind of hand-made park that is always changing and does not need money for its development and upkeep. It is not an 'official' public facility it is an experiment in taking creative care of our public spaces without the need for permissions or plans. This means that it is open any time at your own risk and pleasure and is not a space which closes off other activities

You can experiment and play, and use organic matter such as local clay, sticks, flax, dried flowers, and rocks to make practical and whimsical creations such as hand-made furniture, mobiles, wind chimes, and insect dwellings... well, whatever you like! This space is in an always open public area that you can use any time... we will work together to create a living, ever-changing, decomposing sculpture trail in our neighbourhood.

Let's work with 'stuff' around us to develop care and attachment for our nearby environment!!

Visit the space HERE

See some photos from a trial run at Mairangi Bay School, Term 4 2016 HERE

Photos and videos HERE

JAN 16 (Mon) 10-1: Make Your Own Culture - Sauerkraut Workshop

Philippa Nielsen invited one and all to "Make Your Own Culture" - an opportunity to partake in the art of making sauerkraut. This improvised foraging walk/workshop/conversation was an experiment at fermenting a revolution as a community of people dedicated to creative living.

Make Your Own Culture incorporates Philippa's interests in juxtapositions of scale, layers of meaning, metaphor and silly puns. It invites a place in your life for co-creation, ritual, community gathering and bodily nourishment.

Photos and videos HERE

JAN 21 (Sat) - Local Clay Outdoor Workshop

An open and "open to chance encounters" outdoor workshop making vessels with local clays along the walkway between Mairangi and Murrays Bay on January 21 - with the inspiring Jack Tilson.

Photos and videos of the open-air studio HERE

JAN 17 (Tues) - Meditation in Junk Terrain

The wonderful Adam Ben-Dror initated an amazing inter-generational group meditation session in a stimulus terrain of junk during the Summer Open Workshop.

Photos HERE

JAN 19 (Thurs) - Pop-Up Exhibition

On Jan 19 we held the opening and closing day of a one-day exhibition of weird works by Summer Open Workshop artists. Including but not limited to stuff by Clint Taniguchi and Cath O'Brien , diverse materials from the studio/workshop of Xin Cheng and Aya Yamashita, and pamphlet by Balamohan Shingade... and much more amazing stuff dug out from the rubble of the 10-day workshop that we have no idea who made it!

Photos and videos HERE

Yakitori-ya WEIRD BIRD (All Summer Community Food)

WEIRD BIRD is a festive and free mobile art yakitori stall in & around Mairangi Bay, Auckland for crazy community hospitality.

It is magical collaboration between a Yakitori King / dance expert, a yakitori stall craftsman / tanuki, a weird bird illustrator, and anyone else who wants to join in - Website HERE

WEIRD BIRD roamed the streets of Mairangi Bay offering treats during summer, and held some scheduled events too.

LAST EVENT: Sunday 15th Jan, Maxwelton Drive, from 4.30pm-ish until when we "felt like it"
Included FREE hair CUTZ by Mairangi/Kyoto hair king Katz.

JAN 18-19 (Weds/Thurs) - FREE 'garage sale' of creative resources at MAC

On 18-19 Jan MAC hosted a free 'garage sale' of creative materials from the 10-day open workshop at the MAC gallery space.

The hope was that "Everything MUST go!", and some of it did!

weird sounds and DIY instruments meeting (Jan 10, 10.30 onwards at MAC)

On Jan 10 MAC was inundated with sound explorers and easy to make DIY instruments. Organised by legendary Bays music educator Clare McCormack, facilitated by Robyn and Anna, and energised by other interested friends of all ages and abilities. We made sounds and unusual instruments, and enjoyed a weird jam session where everyone was a beginner and expert at the same time.

The sound meeting log with documentation, videos, and sounds of inspiration is HERE (to be updated with resources from the sound meeting soon)

Photos and videos of our ever-growing homemade sound playkit are HERE

For the Birds - Public Bird Baths

Brydee Rood offers For The Birds - Public Bird Baths, a workshop project using found objects and collected materials from the local neighbourhood to create a DIY Bird Bath installation in the MAC grounds. The installation aims to provide a cool watering space for the feathered community on public ground over the summer.

Installation Workshop (Completed) December 3 (Saturday) / Time: 1-5ish / at Mairangi Arts Centre.

Please drop in to MAC, fill up a bucket or watering can and take care of the baths to ensure a clean and refreshing experience for local birds.
We also encourage local wildlife photographers to help us capture images of bathing in progress!

Photos and videos HERE

Making and Doing Group (Weekly, Dec-Jan)

"We all know the pleasure of making things and making temporary things is an excellent, low-impact way to pass the time. Imagine a world full of such things - it would have so much more creative possibility and beauty than the world we live in now." (Niki Harre)

Are you interested in making, doing, and 'making-do'? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could create, through the connections of nature, art, and people, a handmade public space where the unique abilities and self-beliefs of all are able to flourish?

Please join like-hearted people at the Making and Doing Group. Drop in any time between 5.00-7.00 most Mondays in December (5, 12, 19) 2016 and January (9, 16, 23) 2017. More details HERE.

Work on Berms Around the Bay (Frequently, Dec-Jan)

A mobile workstation toured Mairangi Bay during Dec and Jan - a mobile art studio which also offered free and weird creative experiences to all, in the form of hands on work. Often included food.

Photos and videos from Mairangi berms HERE

+ + curious & fabulous encounters

Cath O'Brien

It was inspiring to have artist and educator Cath O'Brien (Make Like A Tree) visit Summer Open Workshop many times to hang out and create in an open studio environment.

Along with running Make Like A Tree Cath tutors at MAC and other community art centres "My style of teaching focuses on both process and product. Children are naturally creative and intuitively know how to create beautiful and unique works of art. My goal is to nurture and support this creativity through art. I like to provide a dynamic environment with flexible structure for the children to explore their creative ideas within."

Photos and videos HERE

Download Cath's pamphlet (PDF) - "Children's Drawings" - in Chinese and English HERE or pick up a copy at MAC.

Clint Taniguchi

It was an honour to experience the ultimately amazing Clint Taniguchi constructing his impressive, dynamic, and explosive foraged bouquet at MAC during Summer Open Workshop.

Clint Taniguchi is an artist // educator // father - at least! He co-founded internationally recognised galleries, Triple Base in San Francisco and Nakaochiai Gallery in Tokyo, Japan, that specfically focused on collaborative projects, community engagement and integrating art into daily life - MORE.

One of many things he does is Auckland's Secret Art Club and his instagram is HERE

Photos and videos HERE

Jo Eng

North Shore based yoga teacher Jo Eng came in to investigate and experiment with the possibilities that 'bodies and stuff' possess. More details soon!

Balamohan Shingade

On a field trip to Howick to learn about what and how suburban art centres could be Chris Berthelsen was very happy to spend a hypnotic mid-morning with Balamohan Shingade, who was manager and curator at Malcolm Smith Gallery, Uxbridge Arts and Culture and is now at ST PAUL ST Gallery, AUT.

Their off-the-cuff talk included and weaved nets of understanding through musical aspects of the West and India, boundary-ignoring gods, and weirdos who dwell in public schools, at least, in the pursuit of ways of thinking about how suburban art centres might function in the 'dynamic' Auckland environment.

Download the first half of the transcript of Balamohan and Chris' talk - "Music, Gods, and Suburban Art Centres" - HERE (PDF) or pick up a copy at MAC.


wind play

Windy days and huge sheets and sacks are a play-full mix!
We collected a play kit of various items for large scale wind play which we would love you to borrow. Also, you can easily find some large sacks by asking at a nearby furniture store (these ones came from king-size beds).

Photos and videos HERE

Contact Chris to play, borrow, and/or share your own wind based ideas and creations: / 022-0854-866

DIY Sound Toys

We are always playing with 'stuff we have around the house' to make sound toys and improvised instruments. Our sound playkit is EVERGROWING!
Some work 'better' than others but we always learn and take pleasure in playing with noises large, small, weird, and wild.
Please come over to jam and make, and share your sound toy creations with us!
(Watch out for improvised concerts on Mairangi Bay berms too!)

Photos and videos HERE

Contact Chris to play, borrow, and/or share your own sound toy ideas and creations: / 022-0854-866

Summer Open Workshop was held during Nov-Feb 2017 sign up for updates about future programmes or email chris at if you have ideas or skills you'd like to add

in collaboration with Mairangi Arts Centre, provided with support of Creative Communities Scheme

Mairangi Arts Centre is a vibrant, community based visual arts education facility and exhibition venue. Our mission is to educate and foster growth in the creative arts by providing access to and participation in the arts for all. More details HERE

Each year Creative New Zealand provides Creative Communities Scheme (CCS) funding to city and district councils throughout New Zealand to distribute in their area. The scheme supports more than 1,800 projects every year. More details HERE