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Rail Trail sculpture contest entries on view in Thames

23 January 2018

Forty-eight submissions for the Kopu to Thames Rail Trail sculpture design competition have been received and are on display now at Carson's Gallery in Thames until the end of January.

Michael Smithers Harmonic Assembly

(Photo: The Michael Smither's sculpture "Harmonic Assembly" has been a focal point of the Thames waterfront, on the Coastal Walkway, for several years.)

The competition is being held by the Thames Public Art Trust to choose one or more sculptures for the Thames to Kopu section of the Hauraki Rail Trail.

Over time more sculptures can be added, to serve as "visual breadcrumbs" to draw people along the cycleway.

The submissions were from local, national and international submitters.

Entrants could submit a concept, design or finished work for either a piece of sculpture to sit along the trail or something more utilitarian such as a bench, rest stop or shelter - which could potentially double as an information stop.

The Thames Public Art Trust received a Thames Community Board grant of $15,000 to help pay for the making and installation of the winning design and a pledge of $15,000 from Smart Environmental Managing Director Grahame Christian.

Joe Bleakley, QSM, will be judging the entries without knowing who submitted each one. He has a considerable resume of design and art production work including the 1990 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, he was art director on King Kong and The Lord of the Rings films, has had considerable involvement in The World of Wearable Art, and much more.

In addition, there is a People's Choice selection. Vote for your choice at Carson's Gallery at 600 Pollen Street in Thames.

Winning designs will be announced at an awards function at 4pm on Monday 29 January at the Thames War Memorial Civic Centre. If you would like to go, please RSVP to or phone or text 021 780 989.