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The Nelson region is home to nearly 400 artists and dozens of art galleries and has always been a magnet for creative people. Art galleries have thrived in the region for decades, with local art galleries and high-quality artists. The artist community is perhaps the largest in the country. The Refinery ArtSpace, situated on Hardy street, is since 2015 an entity of Arts Council Nelson, supported by Nelson City Council, is encouraging exhibitions and events to stimulate and strengthen the artistic and cultural life of the Nelson and Tasman region. The Refinery ArtSpace, formerly on Halifax Street, relocated last year to Hardy Street and has use of the space until July next year.

Discussions are ongoing on the possibility of trying to extend their stay on Hardy Street, through either ownership or longer-term rental. The Community Arts Manager, Lloyd Harwood explains:

“We love this space. It is a multi-functional facility, so we can alter the internal walls to create partitions if needed. There is a great area out the back that is ideal for workshops and as a rehearsal space that can be booked out for short- or long-term usage. This is a community art space that features a diverse range of exhibitions and events presenting works by local and national artists alike. There are just so many benefits to being here and it’s got lots more potential that we can tap into now – we’ve just got to stay here now if we can.”

There are so many benefits with the new location and more people discover the gallery who have never been aware of it before. Thanks to large shop windows, the various exhibitions are visible and attract more people into the gallery.

Coming up next is Toi Rangatahi, artworks including digital works, sculpture, ceramic etc. by young people aged 12-24 years old living in Nelson and Tasman region. This exhibition will be held at the Refinery ArtSpace from April 22-May 23.

The gallery holds new exhibitions rotating all the time. Besides the exhibitions, there are workshops, classes, performing art events and so much more.
The Arts Council Nelson welcomes any art-based enquiries from all sectors of the community and prides itself on its’ ability to assist with nearly every query received.
“We think of ourselves as a ‘Citizens Advice Bureau for the Arts’. So do not hesitate to contact us with your query”, says Lloyd Harwood.
ACN employs a full-time Community Arts Manager, a part-time Administrator plus a part-time Gallery Manager, all of whom have a wealth of experience in the arts. In addition to these, the voluntary ACN Executive Committee is comprised of active members who are either working in the arts professionally and/or are actively involved in a wide variety of arts sectors and practice.

Opening hours:
Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm
Sat 10am – 2pm
To find out more, visit their website


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