Papamoa artist’s first exhibition

Rhianna and her art. Supplied photo.


Rhianna McCormick-Burns is about to have her first art exhibition, and it will be part of the Bay of Plenty Garden & Art Festival.

The Papamoa artist will be based at Bloom in the Bay – the festival hub, at Tauranga Racecourse during the November 19-22 event.

Rhianna is a portrait artist, and women of different races are her subject matter – a trip to Bali about three years ago proved very inspirational. Her works are all oil paintings on linen. She says she paints in “a realistic way”.

“I don’t like to over-intellectualise why I do what I do art-wise. I paint what I see and find beautiful in life and then hope that evokes a connection with the viewer,” she says.

Rhianna will be one of about 100 artists showcased in the festival, which is principally sponsored by Bayleys.

That number comprises individuals as well as groups, such as Tauranga Art Society and Bethlehem Pottery Club. The artists display a wide range of mediums such as sculpture, jewellery, ceramics and paintings with a myriad of inspirational content.

Some of those artists will be displaying their skills at localities along the garden and art trail.

Festival goers will also get to see behind the walls and hedges of 69 of the district’s best gardens along with the 11 Art stops on the trail, which is sponsored by Palmers Bethlehem. Festival favourites will be joined by about 40 per cent of gardens new to the festival.

Festival director Marc Anderson says those attending will be in for a treat.

“We’re grateful, as always, that so many of our district’s talented gardeners and artists are happy to showcase their creativity in this way,” he says.

While the biennial festival is less that a month away it’s not too late to buy tickets. A one-day ticket costs $35 plus booking fee; and a multi-day pass, $65 plus booking fee. These are available on the festival website,, Palmers Bethlehem, The Arts Junction – Katikati, Decor Gardenworld, Pacifica Home, i-SITE Tauranga and Garden Store and Te Puke Florists.

There is also the opportunity to buy tickets ($110 each) to the festival’s Long Lunch, which will be held on Sunday, November 22.

Bloom in the Bay, meanwhile, will include many family-friendly facets. It will be open to the general public with $5 ticket sales at the gate during the festival days. Entry is free for children aged 14 and under and for festival pass holders. Head up to Bloom in the Bay at Tauranga racecourse to enjoy food, live music, art galleries, a floral art exhibition, speaker series, sculpture, environmental displays, and the concept gardens. To find out more about the speakers and workshops, see here.

“You don’t have to have a festival ticket to enjoy Bloom in the Bay. If you are not able to attend the garden and art trail, Bloom in the Bay offers an opportunity to get involved in the festival all the same. We’re ensuring it holds wide appeal, so many people can embrace our district’s festival,” Marc says.








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