Art Today 2020
Art Today 2020

Class options:

  • Weekly Tuesdays, 10.30am - 12.30pm with Lois Perry
  • Weekly Wednesdays, 10.30am - 12.30pm with Lois Perry*
  • Fortnightly Wednesdays, 1pm - 3pm with Claire Chamberlain & Mary Robinson*
  • Fortnightly Wednesdays, 1pm - 3pm with Mary Robinson
  • Weekly Thursdays, 10.30am - 12.30pm with Claire Chamberlain*
  • Weekly Fridays, 10.30am - 12.30pm with Claire Chamberlain

*Class full

Beginning 11 February 2020

Art Today provides an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the world of contemporary art, developing students confidence and understanding in experiencing today’s art.

Art Today courses are year-long discussion groups. With no set programme, the course explores topics from current events in the art world: anywhere from Auckland to New York, London, or Sydney. Taking an analytical approach, the tutors connect what is happening in art today around the world with what has happened before. Lively class lectures unravel topics such as the implications of four people sharing the 2019 Turner Prize, or the influence of organisations like Artangel. A range of contemporary and historical art movements are covered and lectures respond to the interests of the class. Offsite gallery trips around the wider Auckland region also form part of the course, and students have the opportunity to visit art events with fellow members of the group. 

With no formal examinations, students are encouraged to learn at their own pace. While enrolments are for one year, many students continue year after year as they gain in confidence.

Art Today courses are ideal for art enthusiasts interested in exploring the significance, complexities and meaning of contemporary art. 

About the Tutors

Lois Perry
Lois Perry graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from The University of Auckland in 1980 and taught Art and Art History in secondary school from that time until 2000. Lois was instrumental in the establishment of the Pakuranga Arts Centre (now Te Tuhi) in 1975 and was the Founding President. She went on to support the establishment of the Fisher Gallery and the Pakuranga Arts Society, of which she was also the Founding President from 1981 to 1985.  She remained a committee member of the Society until 2002, at which point she became the Chair of Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, a post she retained until 2007. From 2007 until 2017 she remained as a Trustee of the two Trusts which govern Te Tuhi, now the Contemporary Art Foundation and Te Tuhi Contemporary Art Trust. In 2004 she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts (Hons) from Elam School of Fine Arts, and in 2007 began developing Art Today classes for adults at Te Tuhi. Many of the early students are still coming to the classes. She has travelled widely to art galleries and sites around the world – from Palmyra to Prague, and Ulan Batar to the United States. She says that what is happening in the arts tells us about the world we’re living in. “I’m interested in the politics, the people, the places and the past of today’s art world – and today it’s the whole world”.  

Claire Chamberlain
Based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Claire Chamberlain has extensive experience as a teacher of Art History from the historical to the contemporary. She has also been the President of the New Zealand Art History Teachers’ Association (NZAHTA). Claire holds a Master of Arts in Art History with First Class Honours and has written for various publications including the Journal of NZAHTA, Art Zone and the Sunday Star Times. She is also the author of a text on contemporary New Zealand art written for secondary Art History students. Claire is a patron of New Zealand at Venice and led patrons’ tours in 2017 to Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel in neighbouring Padua. She is also involved in the organisation of the programme of events for patrons of New Zealand at Venice in 2019. Claire was also an exhibition attendant for New Zealand’s Venice Biennale exhibit in 2017, Lisa Reihana’s Emissaries which showcased ‘in Pursuit of Venus [infected]’. Most recently in 2018, she curated an exhibition involving seven contemporary women artists in association with the 125th anniversary of suffrage in New Zealand and led tours for NZ Sculpture on Shore. She has also taught an Art History class for adults at a local art centre. Claire is also a collector of art and is passionate about communicating her love of art and art history in an accessible, informed and, above all, enjoyable way.

Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson lived in London for over a decade, 1993 to 2006, where she studied art, taught art and travelled extensively through Europe to Galleries and attended art events - Biennale, Documenta and Art Fairs. London provided the opportunity to attend lectures and talks at galleries for example the Serpentine Gallery, Royal Academy, RIBA, Tate Modern, Tate Britain, the Hayward and the Architectural Association. Mary worked across media in her art practice and exhibited in London and Berlin. She taught Art/Art History in secondary schools both in the UK and NZ. Since 2013 she has been associated with Lois Perry’s Art Today classes initially as a guest speaker and then as a tutor. Her knowledge and ongoing research of contemporary art practices, issues and artists enables her to place art within social, cultural and artistic contexts. Mary holds a BA (Hons) Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK; a Foundation Certificate in Art & Design, The City Lit, Middlesex University, London, UK; Dip. Teaching, NZ; B Soc. Sci [History], Waikato University.

For enquiries or further information, please contact Te Tuhi at (09) 577 0138 or email

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*Please note: The price listed includes an online transaction surcharge. If you wish to avoid this surcharge, please contact Te Tuhi on 09 577 0138. 


Image: Christina Pataialii, Solid gold, 2018 (install view)
photo by Sam Hartnett