Mayor looking for new artwork

Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber has a blank space on his office wall in need of filling. Photo: Ryan Wood.

Western Bay of Plenty District Mayor Garry Webber is looking for a local artist to help decorate the mayoral office.

He’s putting up $1500 of his own money to commission a new painting, which will hang in his office for the duration of his mayoralty.

“I want it to represent the three iwi of the Western Bay of Plenty, and to recognise where we come from.”

He says it doesn’t matter if the person is an up-and-coming artist or an experienced professional – the decision will be made on the quality of the piece.

Helping the mayor make his decision is Creative Bay of Plenty, which will be receiving submissions on his behalf. The artwork should be roughly one square metre in size, and the general meaning of the artwork should revolve around the concept of working together. It should also reflect the culture of the Western Bay.

Garry himself has a large art collection, including pieces inspired by Maori culture that already decorate his office. He has a strong interest in the history of the region, and believes more can be done to promote it.

“I went to Otumoetai Primary School and Tauranga Boys’ College, and we were made aware of our history. But I don’t think many of the modern generation know how Tauranga came to be today.”

Artists interested in submitting a proposal should send a visual representation of their idea, one paragraph explaining how their submission incorporates the brief, and a single-page CV to Creative Bay of Plenty, 95 Willow St, Tauranga 3110, or email

Deadline for submissions is September 30.