This report comes to you during what is one of the most eventful years in not only our history, but our nations and the worlds for quite a while. The world we currently live in is so different from the world of a year ago. Who would have thought a year ago that world travel would have ground to a halt, and that the tourism industry would be just about non-existent and struggling to survive. With no one knowing when it will recover or what the new normal will look like, it has become a challenge for very one, just to survive.

For us, these events have coincided with Katikati Open Air Art starting to implement some of our long term plans, goals and structures, something we have talked about for a long time. The first of these, and one that was a major step for KOAA, was the employment of a part time employee. After 30 years of utilizing the skills and time of volunteers it was a big step. This new role is to help with the organizing of the Carlton Gallery, do grant applications, social media updates and other operating tasks that have become a part of the new look Katikati Open Air Art. So at the beginning of the year and working with Katch Katikati, the committee welcomed Fiona Powell to the team.

Last year has also seen the continued collaboration of us working with other organisation’s on a number of our projects. The first was Kauri Protection project.  KOAA worked with the Department of Conservation, Katch Katikati and the Western Bay Museum along with a number of other local groups and iwi, to celebrate the story of the Katikati Kauri tree in our region, we wanted to also inform the community of the issue of Kauri dieback. The weeklong festival finished with the dedication of our newest mural, #76 ‘Te Wao Tapu Nui O Tane Mahuta, the Domain of Tane’ in July, 2019. It was painted on the outside entrance walls of the Arts Junction building, by Shane Walker. Our thanks to the Department of Conservation for funding this project.

The next big project was the 2019 New Zealand Mural and Arts Festival. Our festival seventh theme was “Life is not what it Seems”, with the festival now established itself as a great event to be part of. The standard of artist was again very high, with two artists from Australia entering. The 2019 winning mural was from one of those Australian artists, Annette Matthews with her mural titled ‘Lost in a Cuboid’ which displayed her amazing talent with an air brush. The winning sculpture was by Peter Cramond, titled ‘Side by side together’. The festival again attracted huge community support and showcased the variety of talented artists and art mediums we have in our community. I would like to thank Katch Katikati, all our many sponsors, supporters and volunteers for again stepping up and helping create this amazing event.

After the Katikati Rugby club mural had been put on hold in 2018, and with the club planning their 140th celebrations over Queens Birthday weekend in 2020. Work began on preparing the boards in December 2019, with the chosen artist Jason Manukau arriving in February to start painting. Unfortunately the arrival of Covid-19 saw Jason who had returned to Australia being unable to return to complete the project, so at this stage the mural is again on hold. As for the book and museum exhibition, these are both hoping to be launched in early September. Just another example of our collaborative work with the Western Bay Museum again.

The highlight of finally finding a new home last year for the ‘Our People, Our Story’ mural, beautifully repainted by Elizabeth Kyle, was short lived, because of the harsh conditions the mural was facing, even though it had been coated with a protective coating, it deteriorated much faster than we expected, so we had to take the new step of removing the original mural before it was too damaged and replacing it with the vinyl reproduction, this project happened just before Christmas. Again our thanks to the Western Bay Museum, Mark Rickard from Acumen Construction and 1st Signs for helping make this project happen.

Talking about the museum, we installed the winning bike rack outside the museum. A legacy of the NZ Mural festival Bike rack competition, a big thanks to the WBOPDC for their support, something I hope we can add too in the future. As well we are working with WBOPDC and other organisations on the upgrade of the reserve on the corner of Park and Beach roads, a project to look forward to seeing what eventuates

With our plan of working together with other organisations it has had to see us create the need to implement more MOU’s. With our existing ones with the WBOPDC re: Information Centre, Katch Katikati re: working together in the Arts Junction, Western Bay Museum re: storage and usage of the Geoffrey Fuller Collection, we had to add a new one in 2020, this time with the Katikati Memorial Hall committee, after the opportunity arose to install the newly framed Geoffrey Fuller submission, ‘Those Who Served’ in the new entrance to the Memorial Hall. I would like to thank the Katikati RSA and Hall committee for helping fund this project.

There are also a number of other projects we are currently working on around the town, but that’s something for next year and something to look forward too.

With the appointment of Fiona, our website and social media platforms have been updated and maintained. Also we added a virtual tour guide to our website after the amazing work of Ruth Flynn. We are in the process of also updating the operations of the Carlton Gallery to maximize the opportunity to promote more local and regional artists, as well as raise funds. We have also been made successful on a number of grant applications over the last year, a big thanks to those funder, to COGS and Tect for operational support, Creative Communities for funds to publish the rugby book and run art classes and WBOPDC Resilience fund for upgrade of mural signage.

A big thank you to our Patron, Gary Webber and to the Western Bay of Plenty District Council for your ongoing support and our relationship, especially the annual grant we receive that helps towards the huge task of the ongoing maintenance and up keep of our collection, which is now numbering 81. A very big thank you to all the volunteers, supporters, the businesses that support us, like Acumen Construction, Resene, Complete Access Scaffolding especially. A big thanks to all the organisation’s who annually support us with funding like Tect, Bay Trust, COGS, Creative Communities and many others. All these organisations help on projects, sponsorships and materials throughout the year, without that support a lot of what we do won’t be possible. This year has also see us utilizing the resources and support of Creative Bay of Plenty more than before, especially the General Manager Meg Davis, who accessed us with our planning for our future.

To Jacqui, and her team, to the Katch Kati committee and the volunteers who man the desk and help out, thank you again for your hard work, it has been great working together over the last year working towards the continued successful operation of the Arts Junction.

I would like to thank the Katikati Community Board for their support, especially welcome John who has recently stepped into the role as our link to the board. We look forward to working with board again on future projects.

A big thank you to Karen and Giles & Associates for their support and financial assistance, it is huge task that we are very grateful for.

To my fellow committee members Sheryl, Anne, Peter and Carolyn a big thank you for all the many hours of time you give to Open Air Art. I look forward to working with you on the many new projects and jobs we have planned for the future.

With the opening of the new Arts Junction, Katikati Open Air Art have that home on our Main Street, we have a visible presence that is very important, especially in these times, something we don’t take lightly.

Our goal must be to keep Katikati Open Air Art alive, innovative and sustainable. It is in these times, that the Arts especially have a very important role in our community and the people who live in it, not only is it financially beneficial, and makes the place pleasant to live in or visit, but it’s also become a well-known fact that the Arts are great for our well-being and our health. But that’s something we in Katikati have known for 30 years.

Even though this year has been a very different one, we can still celebrate 30 years of hard, give ourselves a pat on the back and enjoy the many great and rewarding projects, events and opportunities we and many others have delivered. Our challenge is to see that what has been achieved over the last 30 years, continue for the next 30.

I move the adoption of my report.

Steve Graveson

President, Katikati Open Air Art