Saturday July 20th – Opening Hours 10am – 4pm

What’s On

The latest CAN News!

At long last, an overdue CAN-e-News and there is so much to tell you about!

School holidays have kept CAN very busy, with all sorts of fun workshops provided by The Pencil Room, plus some Art-Play Drop-in Days and even a Kids Sushi Making Class!

An event we are looking forward to is the upcoming CAN Hui on Saturday 27 July at 4.30pm, and you are warmly welcomed to come along. You will meet the Board Members for an informative meeting about progress that has been made on the strategic plan for Creative Arts Napier, and will have the opportunity to have your say about the future of YOUR Community Arts Centre. We request that you RSVP in advance to to ensure there is enough seating and refreshments available.  You can find more information about the Hui below, by scrolling down the page.

Talking of events, exhibition openings at CAN continue to gain popularity as ‘the’ place to be on a Friday evening. The recent opening of ‘Human Impact’ by painter Joshua Weeks and ceramicist Katie Jenssen, combined with the two other openings on the same night attracted over 200 attendees. Espresso Martinis by Georgia Café and wine from Trinity Hill was thoroughly enjoyed as was live music provided by Stretch. Naomi Prowse celebrated the opening of ‘Metamorphize; The Art of Altered Couture’ with live models dressed in her restyled vintage pieces mingling with the crowd. The atmosphere was electric!

So, if you pop along to CAN right now there is still time to catch ‘Human Impact’ in the Main Gallery plus the work of Shareena Howley on the Mezzanine until 25 July. ‘Metamorphize’ by Naomi Prowse will run for a little longer, until 31 July.

Naomi Prowse is a ‘Re-Maker and Re-User’ of things… textiles and preloved garments are her material of choice, and with her expert craftsmanship are given new life and a revitalised purpose.

The collection of Naomi’s work in her current exhibition is offered in the spirit of beauty, sustainability, and to our grandmothers and the wonderful work they did, often in trying circumstances and with limited resources. Her approach involves deconstructing a garment or textile piece and rebuilding it with unique design elements that become apparent during the making.
Salvaged materials come with their own life stories. Working within these narratives is a creative journey of discovery, and a real honour as many of the pieces Naomi uses have already been lovingly hand made before coming into her care. Many hours of work have gone into this collection, hand dying tulle and lace with natural materials such as avocado stones (did you know they produce the most beautiful dusky pink?) and stitching, restyling and refashioning found materials into something totally exquisite. Many of her pieces take your breath away. It brings to mind the picture of tailors in days gone by working late into the night, stitching by candlelight. Naomi is passionate about her craft, but also about encouraging the re-use and recycling of clothing to create a sustainable wardrobe. The fashion industry creates so much waste, it’s hard to comprehend. Naomi is fighting the cause by creating the most beautiful and cost effective examples of how we can all prevent the landfills piling up with cheap, disposable clothing.
Naomi started making as a child and has indulged in many media over the years. However, she finds the theatre of creating these textile pieces so fulfilling that it just keeps drawing her back in.

If you would like to join Naomi to explore the process of revamping an item of your clothing, please book in for her one-day workshop on Saturday 27 July. The cost is just $75 for the day and you will learn some valuable techniques for altering and individualising many pieces in your wardrobe, which you can apply at home. She will also guide you with the practical aspects of refashioning your piece so you can take home something that you will be proud to wear! Book now by calling CAN on 06 835 9448 or email

The next double opening to look forward to is on Friday 2 August, 5-7pm and will feature the work of painter Dali Susanto and ceramicist Gary Hebley. Make sure this one goes in your diary!

At CAN we encourage and support artists that are passionate about conveying strong messages through the art they create. From next Friday 26 July, you can view an exhibition that explores the theme of the impact humans have on the world in terms of animal cruelty and pollution. These topical themes are shown in fine detail by Whanganui artist and printmaker Anthony Davies, in over 40 black and white lithographic prints. Some of the images are challenging to view, and in this regard CAN requests that the warning signs are observed upon entering, as the exhibition is not suitable for children under 14.
Davies is a prolific artist that believes the fundamental skill of drawing is vital. His stone lithographs are testament to his life-long passion for rendering form, often taken from the media, and more recently from the proliferation of images that are now bombarded at us all through the internet. His two series Cruelty to Animals’ and ‘Pollution’ were both created in 2018 and will be on display until 8 August.

Lastly, don’t forget there is an upcoming one day weekend workshop in Painting and Mixed Media on Saturday 17 August with painting legend Helen Dynes. Helen has just returned from a 3 month residency in Florence, Italy and brings with her new ideas and experiences to share with all of her students. Have fun spending a day guided by Helen, investigating all the things you can do with paint on canvas. The cost for the day is $95 and bookings can be made by contacting

So much to see and do! Keep CAN on your radar this winter and we will keep your art mojo topped up to the brim.



 HUI: Saturday 27 July, 4.30-6.30pm at Creative Arts Napier

Late last year, at the Creative Arts Napier AGM, CAN members supported a motion for the Board to explore CAN’s governance structure, specifically moving the Society from its current status into a Charitable Trust. And that the Board was to consult the membership and present the results back to them in the first part of 2019.

Since the AGM your Board, working closely with CAN staff, has been occupied ensuring that the CAN was operationally viable and solvent. Alongside this work we have undertaken further research and evaluation into the benefits, or not, of transitioning to a charitable trust.

We remain grateful to the Napier City Council for their ongoing commitment and support as we worked through refocusing the CAN and developing a plan to get us on the path to a sustainable future.

The Board particularly want to thank our wonderful team of staff and volunteers who have gone above and beyond to reinvigorate the CAN and keep its day-to-day operations functioning so well.

This support, along with that provided by our artists, visitors and wider community, has been invaluable. It has meant the CAN now has all its display/gallery spaces fully booked for the next six months, there are an ever-growing range of workshops and classes running at capacity, and our visitor and sales volumes are steadily increasing.

Change has also happened around your Board table with Stephen Swabey departing our shores and returning to live in the UK in early June. The Board took the opportunity before his departure to thank him for his leadership and commitment in developing a strategy for the CAN, putting it on this path to a sustainable future.

Chris Lord has taken up the role of chair (previously deputy chair) and Michael Aherns has stepped into the role of deputy chair, providing valuable input into our strategic and governance discussions.

So where are we now?

In terms of the governance discussions the Board has now reached a position that we remain an incorporated society with charitable status, but with a new and significantly enhanced set of rules, or constitutional structure.

We are keen to share with how we came to this decision, share our thinking and hear from you in regards to what a new CAN constitution would look like.

Please join the CAN Board and staff for a hui at CAN on Saturday 27 July at 4.30-6.30pm, where together we can talk about where we are at now and more importantly, where we want to be in the future.

We look forward to meeting with as many of you as possible as we take the next steps in ensuring CAN remains a diverse vibrant centre of excellence for the Arts in Napier.

Please RSVP to with your name and numbers that will be attending.


Light refreshments will be served. 

If you would like to find out more about becoming a CAN member, please do not hesitate to request information from or from the front desk the next time you visit.

Thank you