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All I had to do was move to Manawatū

ALL I HAD TO DO WAS MOVE TO MANAWATŪ

Landing your dream job in the arts sector doesn't often go hand in hand with a small rural town in provincial New Zealand. But for Karis Evans, that's exactly what she found when she moved to be closer to her partner. We caught up with Karis to look back at what that dream role meant for her and where it has helped her get to now.

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Karis spent the better part of a year attempting to get a foot in the arts scene in Wellington but never managed to make it budge. That’s when she found that moving to a small town had its advantages. 

“When Wellington felt like a closed shop, there was a sense of support and collegiality [in the Manawatū].” She even found that taking up an arts role in the regions was the perfect excuse to meet Wellington arts professionals, “all I had to do was move to the Manawatū!” 

Once Karis had made the decision to move to Manawatū, she spent her time job hunting across the region and finally the stars aligned; an amazing opportunity had come up in friendly Feilding of all places – Art Centre Manager for the Feilding and District Art Society 

"It was a great role where I got to do a bit of everything over the course of my tenure there. I love having direct contact with the creative community and it's quite different to if I had gone into a big city gallery."

Working at the Art Centre was the perfect way to get introduced to the locals.  “There are over 8,000 visits to the centre annually so it was a great way for me to make friends. There is a luxury in connecting with people that have the same passions or ideals as you,” says Karis.   

“I also got to meet really interesting and intelligent people, which is contrary to the perceptions people [in urban centres] like to build up about small rural towns.”  

Karis thoroughly enjoyed her role as Art Centre Manager and was there up until March 2024, when she took another leap forward in her career, transitioning into a position with Te Manawa as the Heritage Curator. This sort of role doesn’t come up very often and Karis is looking forward to making her mark in another dream job in the region.  

“In Manawatū, everything is on your doorstep. It is an attractive destination for creative people to set up shop and I know lots of artists have studios in their homes because they have the space. Our challenge now is finding enough platforms to share the great work these creatives are doing!” 

Since moving to Manawatū Karis has built a remarkable career landing her dream job not once but twice! First as the Art Centre Manager for the Feilding and District Art Society, and then transitioning to her current role as Heritage Curator at Te Manawa. What a triumphant rollercoaster!

 

THE FEILDING ART CENTRE

The Feilding Art Centre was set up by The Feilding and District Art Society in the 1960s. The Centre plays host to exhibitions by emerging and established artists, run affordable workshops for artists at all stages of their journey, and has a shop filled with unique art objects by local creators. With an ever-changing programme of exhibitions, events and classes it is worth a visit.

Located on Manchester Street, Feilding, the centre is open Monday to Friday: 10am to 4pm or on Saturday: 10am to 1pm or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @FeildingArt.

Feilding Art Centre | Manawatū Art Expo | Feilding Art Society 

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Te Manawa

For twenty years Te Manawa Museum has been the epicentre of art, science and heritage for Te Papaioea. Home to world class exhibitions, events, workshops, activities and learning programmes.

Te Manawa is a great place to visit Tuesday to Sunday: 10am - 5:00pm.
Admission is free for general entry.

Stay connected with Te Manawa 

World class & Well connected

Palmerston North and Manawatū is the home to some of the brightest minds in Aotearoa, world-class research and educational institutions and an established business ecosystem that is connected to the world. 
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Manawatū stories >>

Dive in and have a taste of what our region’s about!
EXPERIENCE Manawatū Filter
  • All
  • See & Do
  • Taste
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Business & Innovation
  • Whānau
  • Walking & Cycling
  • Itineraries
  • Shopping
  • Motorhoming
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