Kaumatua Ben Hita, of Te Uri o Hau, leads a blessing ceremony in the new workspace.
Mary-Anne Boyd thanked supporters of the Workspace project.
Dr Jason Smith celebrated the fact that people could create art together.
Lea Watson was among the prize winners in the Mangawhai Artists Youth Art Showcase competition.
Mangawhai residents eager to develop their artistic talents will have fresh opportunities to do so, following the opening of the Mangawhai Art Workspace.
The workspace was created by extending the existing Mangawhai Artists’ Gallery and will be used to host art classes and workshops.
The 62-square-metre workspace was officially opened by Kaipara Mayor Dr Jason Smith before a gathering of around 100 people on December 5.
In 2018, Mangawhai Artists Inc organised a community fundraising campaign that successfully raised $175,000 to construct the space.
Dr Smith told the gathering that projects such as the workspaces didn’t happen without the great leadership that exists in communities such as Mangawhai.
He celebrated the fact that the workspace provided an opportunity for people to create art together, rather than being forced to do it at home alone.
“I would like to congratulate everyone who is involved with this,” he said.
Speaking after the opening, Mangawhai Artists’ chair Mary-Anne Boyd said the previous gallery space had only limited opportunities to conduct workshops, because of the lack of room and the absence of a toilet.
Now workshops would be able to be conducted year round and half a dozen tutors were already lining up, eager to make use of the space.
She thanked community members for contributing money for the project and also local tradies who had done additional work without charging.
“Art plays a significant part in the general wellbeing of a community. It gives people a kind of focal point for connecting with other people,” she said.