Graffiato – Taupo Street Art Festival Solo Travel

Every laboratory weekend, the city of Taupo on New Zealand’s central North Island hosts a street art festival where invited artists are given a blank wall that they can use as a solid canvas. Taupo’s was the first festival of its kind in New Zealand, there are now others and it attracts artists from all over New Zealand and overseas who want to showcase their skills.

Street art has many purposes; It can serve as a commentary on modern life, be useful as a form of protest, draw attention to social issues, serve as a basis for the bizarre and / or lively imagination of the artist, or simply as a pleasant way to embellish an ugly wall. Cities with numerous examples of street art have also seen a significant reduction in the amount of pointless graffiti they need to clean up. It seems that even vandals respect good street art.

I like street art and so my last trip to Taupo, where I explored these murals, was high on my list of things to do. Armed with a map of Taupo Island (information center), I made my way to see as many as possible. Many are on alleys and behind commercial buildings like hidden, secret treasures, it was fun to find them. Unfortunately there was persistent rain that day, but I did my best and could see at least half of the murals before I got soaked and very cold. The advantage, however, is that I can look forward to the other half the next time I go to Taupo.

by Jacob Chrisohoou

Chasing the murals would also be a great family activity. Let children search for them like a treasure hunt, and then both children and adults can enjoy the art together. Note: The art is preserved, it will not be removed after the festival

The photos show some of the street art I’ve seen.

by Numa MacKenzie

Part of a wall painting by Jeremy Shirley

Part of a wall painting by Erin Forsyth

by Beck Wheeler

by Charles and Janine Williams

by Dside

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