Topic: Harrisons Gallery Celebrates 50 Years

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During December, Harrisons Fine Art Gallery is celebrating its 50th year in business. To celebrate this milestone, the gallery is presenting a special exhibition titled ‘Pure Gold – Celebrating 50 Years with 50 Artists’.

Looking wrong? Archived version here.

“Harrisons’ history is a great success story for the arts in Tauranga,” says Harrisons gallery director Gaye Carrothers. 

Fifty years ago, electrician turned trawler man George Harrison set up a small framing business in his garage at home, making picture frames for a local photographer.

The gallery grew out of George Harrison’s desire to promote local talent and was one of the few galleries to exhibit New Zealand artists only.

Today, Harrisons Gallery on 11th Ave is a well established and multi-faceted business.

Gaye and Bev of Harrison’s with some of the ‘Pure Gold’ paintings. 

“What you see when you walk in the door at Harrisons Gallery is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of our total business. 

“With new exhibitions almost monthly the Harrisons team is always kept busy. 

“Besides their custom framing, Harrisons is also well known for its selection of professional artist supplies and art services, and its art school.

“Harrisons’ evolution from backyard business to becoming a true fine art gallery and one-stop destination for all art expertise makes it one of the most unique art businesses in the country,” says Gaye.

While the business has not changed its location at 106 11th Ave for 40 years, the conditions in which Harrisons operates within our community certainly have. 

“Art often reflects the social and political changes in society and it has been exciting to see this reflected in the gallery paintings over the years.

“It’s not surprising that there are several prominent Bay of Plenty artists currently working on artworks directly related to Rena.”

Elliot Mason’s painting inspired by the Rena disaster.

A wide variety of artists and artistic styles have been featured in the gallery over the years. Harrisons has helped launch new artists to notable careers and has exhibited the work of many widely known talents. 

To celebrate the 50th birthday of Harrisons it is opening the ‘Pure Gold’ exhibition which features selected artworks from 50 artists who have exhibited there over the years. 

Harrisons Gallery celebrated its 21st birthday with a month long exhibition of selected works by 21 artists so it seemed only fitting that they celebrated the 50th anniversary with 50 artists to commemorate its 50 fabulous years in business.

More than 150 works will be on display during December.

Local artists Graham Crow, who first exhibited at Harrisons Gallery in 1984 and Elliot Mason, who only last month held his first solo exhibition at Harrisons Gallery, will also be represented in ‘Pure Gold’.  

There is also piece by Michael Blow who had sell-out exhibitions at Harrisons throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Other artists included in the exhibition are Tim Wilson, Nick Eggleston, Doreen McNeill, Richard MacDonald, Hayley Brown, Lynette Fisher, Richard Smith, Barry Ross Smith and many more. 

“It’s been just so much fun for the current Harrisons team to be a part of this special occasion – talking with former artists, proprietors, staff and customers from the past has been a real pleasure and has given us all a huge sense of pride and accomplishment,” says Gaye. 

The ‘Pure Gold’ exhibition opened to the public on Saturday December 3 and runs until Friday December 23.

For further information about the exhibition please contact Carmen Dickison at and to view exhibition artwork visit

by Pete Morris (5 December 2011).

Pete Morris is an occasional painter and art lover who has a particular interest in promoting the visual arts in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.



This page archived at Perma CC in November of 2016:

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Harrisons Gallery Celebrates 50 Years


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