Art Through the Ages | Toi Puta Noa i Ngā Tau​ – School Holidays Wrap-Up!

As we get back into the swing of things in term four at school, let’s look back on some of the brilliant artistic experiments and creations that you made during our September—October school holiday programme,  Art Through the Ages | Toi Puta Noa i Ngā Tau​.

Flip through this photo gallery to see tamariki repeat the feats of Michelangelo, create miniature masterpieces, learn about traditional Chinese painting and much more!

  • Tradtional Chinese painting workshop at Karori Library!
  • Special guest, Courtney Johnston, the Chief Executive of Te Papa, and librarian Mary, open the exhibition of Miniature Masterpieces created by tamariki. You can check it out in the Waitohi link space!
  • Tamariki made miniature masterpieces at Miramar Library, check out the exhibition!
  • Playdough sculpture spectacular at Te Awe Library!
  • Painting vertically like Michelangelo, at Miramar Library
  • Under the tables at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library – more painting like Michelangelo!
  • Tamariki at Johnsonville Library share their artwork after a tradtional Chinese painting workshop
  • Japanese woodblock print inspired colourful creations at Karori Library
  • Steve Mushin leads a brilliant workshop at Johnsonville Library as part of the Festival of Ultrawild Design!
  • Our heritage & history specialist librarian Gábor shows tamariki an ancient tome at our illuminating Medieval manuscripts​ event at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library!
  • Miniature masterpieces on display at Te Awe Library!
  • Just a couple of the beautiful popsicle frames made by tamariki at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library!

Wellington City Libraries and Community Spaces would like to give a massive thanks to Qianxiang Liu for leading three traditional Chinese painting workshops, and to our wonderful community librarian June for helping organise these! Thanks also to Gábor, our heritage & history specialist librarian for running workshops about manuscript illumination at two lucky library branches!

We are grateful to maverick inventor Steve Mushin for leading hilarious design and drawing workshops which explored ludicrous sounding, scientifically possible ideas to rewild the world! Keep an eye out for Steve’s upcoming book Ultrawild: An Audacious Plan for Rewilding Every City on Earth, published by Allen & Unwin NZ.

Thanks to everyone who came along and helped make our programme so special! We hope to see you all again next holidays, or hopefully before then at your local library branch! To find out about our regular programmes, special events, and holiday happenings, make sure to keep an eye-out on the kids’ blog, and our Facebook page, or our events calendar.

Mā te wā!

School Holidays: Art Through the Ages | Toi Puta Noa i Ngā Tau​

The School Holidays are just around the corner! During the holidays, we are inviting you to explore the world through the power of art in Art Through the Ages | Toi Puta Noa i Ngā Tau.

From the 23rd of September to the 8th of October, learn how to paint like Michelangelo, decorate medieval manuscripts, master the art of the woodblock print, and create your own miniature masterpiece at the library!

Visit this page to see the whole calendar, or read on to find out more about what’s coming up at your local library or community centre!

" "

What will be your masterpiece?

Illuminating Medieval Manuscripts​

" "

Get up-close and personal with extremely old and rare items from our Rare Books collection – some from the 1400s!

Rare Books Librarian Gábor Tóth will share the history and technique of manuscript illumination, or hand-drawn decoration. Then, in a found poetry workshop, create and decorate your own ‘manuscript’ in medieval style.

Ages 10+ with their caregivers, if under 14.

Spaces are limited, find out how to register with the links below:

Create a Miniature Masterpiece​

Display your work of art in our itty bitty exhibition!​

Tamariki can join us at the library to paint their masterpiece onto a miniature (10cm x 10cm) canvas. Afterwards, the hosting library will set up a ‘tiny canvas’ exhibition of the paintings, complete with museum-style display cards.

Recommended for tamariki 5+ with their caregivers.

Register online with the following links:

While stocks last, Johnsonville Library will also have some take home kits for tamariki to bring back for a big exhibition!

" "Weave a Pocket full of Stars: Raranga Papercrafts

Join us to learn a little bit about the history of raranga, kete weaving, and basket weaving more generally. Then, tamariki will have the chance to weave their own kete, adapting raranga techniques to materials that can easily be found at home or in our libraries, like coloured paper and cardboard.

For ages 5+ with their caregivers.​ No registrations required.


Paint Like Michelangelo

Travel back in time to learn about Renaissance Italian art! Then lying on your back, apply those techniques and paint the underside of library desks and tables. We will supply all the tools, simply bring along your enthusiasm and artful eye!

For ages 8+ with their caregivers.

Register online with the following links:

" "Traditional Chinese Painting

Join us at the library to learn about and try your hand at traditional Chinese painting. Our expert will share his traditions and techniques with you, then you can try your hand at creating your own artwork.

Ages 8+ with their caregivers.

Register online with the following links:

Festival of Ultrawild Design

Join maverick inventor Steve Mushin for an hilarious design and drawing workshop exploring ludicrous sounding, scientifically possible ideas to rewild the world!

Skills explored: design sketching, 3D drawing, perspective drawing, brainstorming ridiculously wild ideas, eco city design thinking, and storyboarding. Each workshop will be a little different!

For young people who love drawing and inventing!

Recommended for Ages 9-15.

Register online with the following links:

" "

Framed: Make a Popsicle ​Stick Photo Frame

Bring along a photo or picture! Then, make and decorate a photo frame out of popsicle sticks to put your photo in. You can also draw your own masterpiece to put in your frame!

For ages 5–10 with their caregivers.

For Tawa and Johnsonville events, please register in advance. For other sites, no registration is required.

That Suspicious Sculpture: an Introduction to Dungeons and Dragons

Join us for an introduction to the world of Dungeons and Dragons. We’ll provide the Dungeon Master, pre-made characters, dice, books, gear, and knowledge – all you need is enthusiasm! This session is intended to introduce new and novice players to Dungeons and Dragons & tabletop roleplaying games through a Level 1 adventure, learning the game from our experienced librarians in a friendly environment.

Suitable for ages 13+ 

Register online with the following links:

" " The Great Wave: Japanese Woodblock Printing Workshop​

Discover the practice and style of Japanese woodblock prints and create a classic print of your own.

Make your own spin on classic pieces of art by choosing what colours to print, a twist on the tradition of colouring in.

For ages 8+ with their caregivers.​

Spaces are limited, find out how to register with the links below:

LEGO® Creations – The Art of Architecture

Come down to the library and get creative in these free-build sessions with our extensive LEGO® collections. Let’s build – let’s explore – let’s create a LEGO® masterpiece building inspired by a range of local and global designs.

Recommended for ages 5+ Children under the age of 14 should be accompanied by a caregiver.

More holiday LEGO® Sessions for the whole family! 

Playdough sculpture spectacular!

Come along and create marvellous sculptures with our homemade library recipe playdough.

All supplies provided, there will be sticks, eyes and other craft materials to create truly magnificent sculptures!

Recommended for children aged 5-10.

Register online with the following link:

" "

Whānau Films

Come join us for a family movie! Movies chosen will have a G or PG rating and are suitable for families with young children. Contact the library branch to find out which movie is screening.

This family-friendly event is suitable for children of all ages accompanied by their caregivers.