50th Anniversary


We have an exciting exhibition programme planned for our 50th anniversary. The programme reflects The Dowse continued commitment to supporting contemporary jewellery, ceramics, international art practices, profiling regional artists and projects focussed on fashion, street art and hip hop.

Candy Coated

Gorge on a visual feast of the sickeningly sweet. This exhibition features a fascinating pick ‘n mix of artworks by contemporary international and Aotearoa-based artists who play with an aesthetic of sugary to explore dark and unsettling things that lurk beneath the candy-coated surface.

Artists include Rachel Maclean (Scotland), Jon Noorlander (Sweden), Alison Nguyen (USA), Patrick Smith (Puerto Rico), Laura Duffy (NZ), Wayne Youle (Ngapuhi, Ngati Whakaeke, Ngati Pakeha), Elisa Barczak (Germany/NZ) and Emily Crooks (NZ).

Candy Coated is part of The Dowse Art Museum’s 50th Anniversary programme. It continues our commitment to highlighting international contemporary artists to our local audience.

Candy Coated opens 1 April.

The Most Dedicated: An Aotearoa Graffiti Story

This immersive experience tells the story of TMD (The Most Dedicated) Crew, Aotearoa’s most renowned international street art collective. Featuring the work of over 20 of its members, visitors will be able to delve into the origins and evolution of this graffiti super group.

The Most Dedicated: An Aotearoa Graffiti Story is part of our 50th Anniversary programme. It continues our commitment to street art and urban art culture that was initiated through projects such Respect: Hip Hop Aotearoa (2003), The New Cool (2005) and Common Ground (2009).

The Most Dedicated opens 27 March 2021.

Robert Rapson: Against the Tide

Celebrating the life and work of late ceramicist Robert Rapson (1951-2020). Best known for his delightfully idiosyncratic sculptures and encyclopaedic knowledge of boats, Rapson’s work demonstrates his joyful and quirky approach to ceramics and the how he creatively embraced the medium as a way of weathering the storm clouds that passed through his life.

This exhibition will centre him as a celebrated and highly-regarded artist whose work sat outside the mainstream art world, and also introduces audiences to his wider practice beyond just the well-known boats. The title, Against The Tide, reflects his passion for boats and also his position as an outsider artist who resisted the status quo.

Against the Tide opens on 6 March 2021.

Wild Domain - The Natural History of Jane Dodd Jewellery

Wild Domain: The Natural History of Jane Dodd Jewellery is part of our 50th Anniversary programme. It continues our commitment to highlighting contemporary Aotearoa jewellery practice.

This exhibition covers over 30 years of Dodd's jewellery practice and delves into her examination of humankind’s impact on the natural world.

Wild Domain opens 20 February 2021.

Fool's Gold

2021 marks fifty years since the opening of The Dowse - our golden anniversary. Fool’s Gold celebrates this moment by digging for gold in The Dowse Collection, exploring some of the golden (and yellow, ochre) artworks that have been collected over the past fifty years.

Like Fool's Gold (iron pyrite), all that glitters is not gold. This exhibition takes an inquisitive look at the golden moments and prized possessions at the heart of the collection and challenges you to consider the idea of value, be it monetary, cultural or historical.

Fool's Gold opens 2 February 2021.