Our gallery hosts exhibitions of local and national significance, as well as doubling as a theatre showing mining-related films to visiting school groups, and a meeting room for other Waihi history-orientated groups.
The Gallery is a community resource and can be hired for group activities.
In 1962 a group of locals, including the artist Eric Lee-Johnson (see Wikipedia biography) and Campbell Smith, Head of the Art Department at the newly opened Waihi College, saw potential in the old Technical School building in Kenny Street, and put a proposal to the Council of the day, to refurbish the building and set up a Museum and Art Gallery.
At that time there were few places where New Zealand artists could show their work. During the early years, the Gallery gained a reputation for displaying art and craft by up-and-coming artists including Smither, Hanly, Spicer, and Brickell, as well as acquiring many historic works by local artists, such as those of Lee-Johnson, Tetley, and Campbell Smith among others. These now form the Permanent Collection, which continues to grow as donated items are accepted.