Rarotonga Art Cook Islands
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  Artist Colum PDF - September 2010

Tereapii Rongo Artwork Cook Islands

If the well-being of a country is measured in the art it produces, then the Cook Islands would rate very well. For a small nation, the Cook Islands ranks high as a producer some of the most stunning quality contemporary and traditional visual arts in the Pacific.

There are art galleries on Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Atiu that have paintings, carvings, modern and traditional textile art that would match anything found overseas.

The works are vibrant expressions of traditional and modern Polynesia – the Cook Islands as it was and is today. The works of several leading painters have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in New Zealand galleries, receiving rave reviews.

Master carver Mike Tavioni’s magnificent works, are in galleries and homes all over the world. The fine, exquisite weaving of hats, baskets and natural jewelry by the women of Penrhyn are worn worldwide.

The Cook Islands tivaivai (quilts) are beautifully handmade bedspreads of tropical designs and colours. The tivaivai art form is unique to the Cook Islands and are works of love by the women who spend hours making the sought after bedcovers.

Rarotonga is rapidly becoming a visual arts focal point in the Pacific...

Atiu Fibre Arts Studio Textile art, tivaivai, designer clothing, textile installations and jewelery.  Featuring works of Andrea Eimke.  Andrea offers tivaivai workshops for visitors; inquire at or visit

The Atiu Fibre Arts Studio is open by appointment or Mon-Fri 9am-3pm, and Sat. 9am-1pm, Atiu, Cook Islands +682 33 031

Beachcomber Contemporary Art Contemporary paintings, sculpture, photography, video and new media installation.  Displays art work of Mike Tavioni, Jerome Sheddon, Kay George, Tim Buchanan, Apii Rongo, Loretta Reynolds and New Zealand/Pacific artists Mark Cross, Andy Leleisi’uao and Michel Tuffery.

BCA is open Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm, Saturday 9am-12pm, Taputapuatae, Rarotonga,  +682 21939 or

Moana Gems Pearl & Art Gallery Paintings and limited edition prints, special focus on Cook Islands dance.  Showing works of Judith Kunzlé  and Glen (Hori) Miller

Moana Gems Pearl & Art Gallery has two stores: one in the CITC Shopping Centre Avarua, and the other on the main road, east end of Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Open Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm, Saturday 9am-12pm. +682 22312

Koru Café & Gallery Paintings, prints, local crafts.  Showing artists from Aitutaki: David Nicholls, Atiu: Jeanne Humphreys and Rarotonga: Judith Kunzlé.  Local crafts include handmade pareu (sarongs), ukuleles, pearl jewelry, shell jewelry, glass work, weaving and carving all proudly made in Aitutaki.

The Koru Café & Gallery is open every day from 7am-3pm. Located on the way to Ootu beach. Aitutaki, Cook Islands +682 31110 

Kota‘a Art Paintings, sand paintings, art & craft.  Showing works by Kanoe Heidi Aquino.

Kota‘a Art is open by appointment or Mon-Fri 10am-5pm at Tropical Sands, main road Ngatangi‘ia, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, +682 23 564

The Art Studio  Painting, prints, sculpture, and installations of contemporary Cook Islands and Pacific artists. Hand painted and printed t shirts, one off designer dresses; fabrics and embroidered works by women of Arorangi village.  Representing Cook Islands artists: Kay and Ian George, David Teata, Joan Rolls, Mahiriki Tangaroa, Ani O'Neill, Andrea Eimke, Loretta Reynolds, Bianca Whittaker, Croc Coulter, Varu Samuels and works by NZ based artists Sylvia Marsters and Nanette Lele’ulu.

The Art Studio is open Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm, Main road Arorangi, Rarotonga, Cook Islands +682 27788  or

The Furniture Centre  Paintings prints and scultpure by Joan Rolls-Gragg

The Furniture Centre is open from Mon-Fri 9am-4pm, Sat 9am-noon, Ara Metua Tutakimoa, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, +682 21 285

Punanga Nui Cultural Market  Several Cook Islands artists have huts and stands at the Saturday Market in Avatiu, Rarotonga.