Topic: Lightwave Gallery: A New Gallery

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From time to time we are blessed with a new art gallery. In October our rapidly growing city will be enriched by the opening of the Lightwave Gallery at 31 Totara Street Mount Maunganui.

The new gallery will provide a creative workspace and display area for like-minded artists and initially will be home to the portfolios of Ken Wright (photographer, designer, illustrator) Ashley Grant (architect and stone carver) Steve Allan (landscaper and garden sculptor).

The gallery has been laid out with ample display areas and working studio space for the three main artists.

In addition gallery space will be available to other artists to exhibit their work with very reasonable terms.

There is the hope that over time the gallery will become a place for artists to socialise in a creative environment.

The Lightwave Team - Ashley Grant, Ken Wright and Steve Allan.

Ken Wright set out to find premises to showcase his fine art land and seascapes with additional space for a design and photographic studio.

However, nothing in the high street retail area was available to make the project viable and Ken finally settled on the Totara Street location.

"The moment we walked through the door the potential was clearly evident, with plenty of work space including extremely generous display areas" says Ken.

He soon realised that while there was an obvious need for wall space for hanging, there would be an opportunity for other artists to exhibit free standing and sculptural work.

From a promotional point of view, signage, promotion and presentation of both the interior and the exterior would be paramount.

However with his 34 years of experience in the areas of mainstream design and branding in both the UK and New Zealand, Ken has every confidence in making this venue a success as a gallery.

Ken says as a young designer his work experience involved changing to a new discipline every two to three years. One of these moves was to work for an interior/retail designer specialising in high street retail and branding.

His wide range of skills covers all aspects of graphics, traditional and digital illustration styles and photography.

Combining the skills of Ashley Grant (architect) and Steve Allan (with a background in building), Ken began work creating Lightwave Gallery.

Over the last 18 months Ken has been talking to artists about what does and doesn't work for them. He soon came to the realisation that he could offer help to other artists by providing them with a brand new venue as well as having a studio of his own. 

"One must think slightly out of the square," says Ken.

Ken, Ashley and Steve also intend to develop the adjacent large outdoor space and ample parking area into a garden display area for the gallery.

Lightwave Gallery will set aside one room for solo shows or joint shows on a weekly or monthly basis to suit the artist.

Ken Wright's 'Matapihi Bridge - Morning, Noon and Night' 1.2m x 4m 2011.

In the photo we see a stunning photographic piece by Ken Wright. It is one of a select number of artworks that were commissioned for the TECT Arena. 

It depicts and captures the moods of morning, noon and night over the Matapihi railway bridge that spans part of Tauranga harbour.

Ken also intends to offer his services as a designer to help other artists promote their work.

Lightwave Gallery's grand wine and cheese opening is Friday the 5th October, from 5pm - 8pm.

You are invited to attend.

Notable guest artists showing their work at the opening include Nick Eggleston, Owen Dippie, Nic Clegg, Elliott Mason, Joyce van der Lely and Todd Harris.

Tawhai Rickard and Tania Lewis-Rickard will also be exhibiting their work. 

Usual opening times at Lightwave Gallery are Tuesday to Sunday 10am-4pm.

You can find out more about Ken's work at and Ashley's on

For further information contact Ken or Ashley at

by Pete Morris (September, 2012).

Pete Morris is an occasional painter and an art lover. He is a freelance writer with a particular interest in promoting the visual arts in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.

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Lightwave Gallery: A New Gallery


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