Artists Alliance

Based in Ponsonby, Auckland, the Artists Alliance was a non-profit organisation that was saddled with the responsibility of providing resources, information, advancement, career path advice and networking for visual artists in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Their funding support came mostly from Pub Charity, Auckland Council, Creative New Zealand, Chartwell Trust, Foundation North, Patillo, Creative coalition and ASB Community Trust. Other sources of support included funds from stakeholders and members. Established in 1991, they were a dissenting group from the New Zealand Sculptors Society and part of Creative Coalition and WeCreate (also known as the Copyright coalition of New Zealand).

Achievements of the Organisation

  • They created synergy amongst visual artists in New Zealand
  • They provided a spring board platform to individual artists that were struggling to get leads
  • They developed cultural strategies and business focused arts that further pushed the commercial side of NZ arts
  • They assisted local artists showcase their best works in national and international exhibitions.
  • The broadened the learning scope of amateur artists to attain international standards by providing core trainings, camps, workshops and project-based learning
  • They deepened the communicative and interactive skills of artists in Aotearoa which promoted arts and tourism and boosted the economy

Some of their Programmes Included

  • Artist in Residence: This was a programme that was held for a period of three years, its aim was to support an artist in the residence for complete six weeks. Some of the past beneficiaries were Corrina Hoseason, Jessica Pearless and Tiffany Rewa Newick. Some of the ‘artist in residence’ benefits included- provision of a studio space at the Ponsonby office and fundraised money stipends that assisted the artist with his/her projects. 
  • Volunteering: A volunteer programme was set up by the alliance and it brought together students that studied art history, design or art. The aim was to make them volunteers that will work with non-profit galleries, regional galleries, art event organisers and dealer galleries across the nation. The volunteering system broadened the awareness of the students, and assisted them in building solid relationships within the arts world. 
  • Mentoring: The mentoring program was designed mainly for artists aspiring to be at the top. Mentors were allocated to the mentees to help them achieve their focus and goals. Some of the best mentors in this programme included Luke Munn, Niki Hastings-Mcfall, Anthony Byrt, Glen Hayward, Phil Dadson, Jeremy Leatinu’u and Peter Madden.
  • Internships: The alliance succeeded in planting interns in big art organisations like Centre of contemporary art, Gus Fisher Gallery, Creative Coalition, Auckland arts Festival, Artspace and the Physics room’

Their Leadership Board Was Made Up of:

President – Maggie Gresson

Board Members –

  • Evan Woodruffe, Chairman of the Board
  • Tracey Tawhiao
  • Amy Potenger
  • Scott Gardiner
  • Linda Lew
  • Caroline Stone
  • Alix Bachmann



After over two decades of advancing and providing visual artists the needed support and professional evolution, the organisation had severe issues with fund supply from Creative New Zealand and which led to their closure on September 10, 2018. 


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