Campervan will be the ultimate arthouse experience


The world’s first motorhome art gallery is the star of the Coastal Arts Trail launching today in Taranaki.

Curator Aimee Ralfini relaxes outside Vallery, an art gallery camper.
Photo: Delivered / Coastal Arts Trail

Nicknamed “Vallery”, the motorhome offers a fully immersive art experience where travelers can sleep under art, dine with art and recline on art, in an integrated comfortable and practical way.

The Coastal Arts Trail is a collaboration between the economic development agencies of Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatū.

Described as an easy self-drive art lover tour, it offers 60 stops along the lower west coast of the North Island and promises an eclectic mix of public art, street art, galleries and museums.

Venture Taranaki general manager people & place, Vicki Fairley, said the trail would take people from well-known institutions to hidden gems and if they were lucky enough to get a booking for Vallery, they could do it in style too.

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“With more than 50 works by 26 different artists, Vallery represents just a taste of the vast amount of art that can be explored and experienced on the Coastal Arts Trail and is available to book on beginning August 10.”

Vallery Interior Tabletop Illustration by Artist Locke Pikah

The interior table top is from Locke Pikah.
Photo: Delivered / Coastal Arts Trail

Fairley said the creative industries share the strategic focus for all three regions, and the Coastal Arts Trail was their most important collaboration to date. It was made possible with the help of government funding aimed at restoring tourism affected by Covid-19.

“Our involvement in this partnership will help strengthen the creative reputation of our region, as well as the resilience of the visitor industry and encourage more people to visit the region.”

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There are 30 Coastal Arts Trail stops in Taranaki, and nine artists from the region have exhibited 23 works in Vallery, including a large-scale ceiling commission by Gabrielle Belz, depicting a glowing night sky.

Ceiling piece by Gabrielle Belz

This ceiling piece is by Gabrielle Belz.
Photo: Delivered / Coastal Arts Trail

“Belz’s work also includes a striking black and white arch depicting some of the region’s iconic native trees and birds. Sharp-eyed can spot local beach scenes in Diane Stoppard’s pinhole photography, reproduced on the camper’s bedding,” said Fairley.

Travelers would also discover a number of other works in the camper, including a selection of works collected in galleries and artist studios in Taranaki, from established names such as Rohan Wealleans and Sally Laing, as well as some newcomers.

Fairley said the collaboration was a testament to the region’s artists and would support tourism in Taranaki and the lower west coast of the North Island.

“We are delighted to host the Coastal Arts Trail, and all who explore it. Vallery allows us to showcase just some of the talent on display in Taranaki, and we look forward to welcoming domestic and international visitors to the region welcome to experience the rest.”

Quirky Campers owner Leanne Edwards said the Vallery concept had sparked interest even before its completion.

“It’s definitely an idea that people are excited about, and with the border reopening, there’s interest from abroad as well. Before Vallery’s listing on our website even had pictures, we had bookings in from the UK.”

Rear storage panel by Gabrielle Belz - Vallery, an art gallery campervan

Photo: Delivered / Coastal Arts Trail


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