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Pablos Art Studios offers free arts opportunities such as materials, workshops, demonstrations, individual tuition, discussion and critique groups, exhibition opportunities, outings, outreach programs, as well as group art therapy.  Artists work at their own desk or at a communal table.  Participants are  Tangata Mātau ā- wheako (have a lived experience of mental health), they enter Pablos service to focus on supporting/maintaining mental wellbeing. Artists work independently or collectively towards their creative goals, balancing their independent art practice with workshops or collaborations.

Kei a Pablos te mahi a te ratonga utukore e taea ai te whai; pēnei i ngā rawatoi, ngā awheawhe, ngā whakaaturanga pūkenga; te ako kanohi ki te kanohi, te  whakawhitiwhiti whakaaro ā-rōpū, ngā haerenga, ngā hōtaka ā-hapori; ka mutu ko te haumanu toi ā-rōpū. Ka mahi ngā ringatoi kei ō rātou ake papamahi, kei tētāhi papamahi nui ā-iwi rānei. He tāngata mātau ā-wheako ngā ringatoi e uru ai ki Pablos mō te āta tiaki i te hauora hinengaro te take. He mahi takitahi, he mahi takitini rānei tā te ringatoi hei whai i ōna ake hua auaha. Mā reira, tautika ai āna ake mahi toi me ngā awheawhe, me te mahi tahi rānei.


Our artists and their stories

Anton Pierce

Click here to read Anton's story

Pablos artist Anton Pierce calls Kilbirnie home. As a child of 12, his family could see he was talented at drawing. During college he was one of the top in his art class and loved spending time there especially because of the positive influence of his art teacher Rob Taylor. He was mostly making acrylic paintings of still life. Following his education he continued making street art as it allowed him to create from his imagination. This led to large paintings on walls of shops. He also enjoyed portraits for the challenge. Anton is inspired by colour, especially reds with light greens or the contrast of bright with earth colours. He does not like being limited to one particular style or medium. Currently, Anton is creating designs on fabric patches which allows him to communicate quirky ideas through visual word play. He is also working on mural designs for the streets of Kilbirnie. Anton is influenced by street art artists such as “Curb, Juice, Leaper”. He prefers having some guidelines when creating works for others. He says “I enjoy having a need and being able to answer that need.”

Louis Des Forges

Click here to read Louis' story

Louis is a Wellingtonian and has lived in other places around New Zealand and overseas. He has always enjoyed drawing and completed a portfolio in high school which allowed him to develop his skills. Louis has been attending Pablos for almost 10 years and enjoys the art making process.
In Louis work, he considers colour and light the most as well as all the other decisions involved to communicate his visual ideas. His favourite techniques are painting, etching and sketching. In his recent work he was inspired by photos from a snowboarding trip to Japan. He has developed these photographs into his own paintings and prints. Louis is influenced by the style of film director David Fincher who uses long shots to display a character’s environment and situation. These shots are usually dark and atmospheric. Another influence is the novel “Norwegian Wood” by Haruki Murakami.

Soraya Xe

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Soraya Xe move to Wellington five years ago. Originally, she is from Whatuwhiwhi in Northland. She is Ngati Kahu and Ngaphui descent and spent most of her life in Auckland. She finds home in all of these places. Soraya realised she had a passion for art when using paint for the first time. She found painting became a tool for visual communication and problem solving. She says, “art became a passion early on, an obsession in my teens, a burden in my twenties, a lifeline in my thirties.” 

She enjoys art for the pure act of concept and creation. “My universe, my conception” she says. She also enjoys the relaxation from crafting. She finds art and craft very different as they have different motivations yet “intermingle and are equally cathartic”. Soraya is a multi-media artist and works with digital collage to up-cycling furniture, sews and crafts yet the thread that connects these mediums together is her painters mind. Her consistent creative technique is automatism which allows her to create work with soul.

Alexandria Tasker

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Pablos artist and artist representative Alexandria Tasker “Augmented digital artist and Accidental trend setter” grew in Lower Hutt but calls Wellington home. She grew up in a creatively talented family and began her creative journey from the age of 5 by throwing paint around. Throughout high school she focused on drawing as a way to work out how to make her wood and metal creations. She says art is “damn addictive!” and is like scratching an itch. She has studied design and craft and Graphic Design. Her knowledge of digital and mixed media processes have led to interesting conceptual ideas. The computer and aesthetic of technology plays a strong influence in her art. She is also influenced by Buddhist theories and calls her works 21st century mandalas. Her mandala works represent whatever is going on in life. Her yellow and black painting entitled “full circle” covers her last couple of years dealing with a housing crisis. She also describes them as a nexus point where all possibilities come together, the interconnectedness of everything. She also creates steampunk and industrial panel work. Follow her instagram @alexandriatasker

Grant Gurney

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Grant Gurney grew up in the Hutt Valley and enjoyed the nature around there. He has been interested in art since the age of 5 but really got into it once he started coming to Pablo’s 10 years ago and loves being around creative energy. Grant has a vivid imagination and loves connecting to animals and nature through art. He calls himself an Expressionist and paints as a way to express how he perceives things. He specialises in acrylic painting yet also enjoys pastels and experimenting with different techniques. He gets inspiration from all the different artists at Pablo’s. He finds art uses a way to express emotions and share ideas.


Click here to read CJ's story

CJ is from Wainuiomata and began his interest in art at the young age of 4 when he started drawing. He enjoys art as he finds it a challenge and helps his focus. His favourite mediums are colouring in, painting, using stencils. He enjoys taking photos of the moon and sunsets and also uses Lego to create. He uses gel pens when colouring in but gets frustrated when they smudge. CJ gets inspiration from seeing other artists work and visits galleries frequently.

Suzy Hobbs

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Suzy Hobbs, born and raised in Wellington, an animal rights activist and a vegan enthusiast, realised her passion for art when her mental health took a dive last year. She started to attend Pathways day service in Lower Hutt where one of the Pablos tutors, Francis, held a regular Friday art therapy workshop. She soon came to notice her ultimate love for colour and ever since has been inspired. Pablo’s has become a big part of Suzy’s life as she says that if she was to do art at home not much would get done, whereas Pablo’s is a place for her to get out of the house to a safe and supportive environment not only for her art but for her mental health.

Paul Holmes

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Paul Holmes has been with Pablos Art Studios since 2022. He says that attending Pablos is an opportunity for him to get out of the house and it encourages him to engage in the community at the studio. For Paul, the potential of an empty canvas is exciting and a place to break the rules. “I am a rule breaker,” he says. “You always hear ‘You can’t do this or that’ but my art is about saying, ‘I can’.” Paul’s art has a tactile quality to it, encouraging people to feel and touch with their hands. He uses a variety of materials and textures, which are often recycled, as well as paint and canvas. "My art is for blind people to enjoy. There should be more art exhibitions that are accessible to everyone.” 

Meta Assink

Click here to read Meta's story

Meta Assink has been with Pablos Art Studios since the early 2000s, with one of her oldest works dating all the way back to 2005. For her, creative spaces like Pablos Art Studios are valuable for people because they provide a unique community, and a place to connect and reconnect to. She believes there is something infectious and inspiring about the creative energy within the artists at Pablos. “It gets you excited to create something or try something new,” she says. Meta finds that the central themes in her work are animals and colour. She has previously worked in clay and pottery but prefers the accessibility of paint, canvas and drawing to express her inner world.    

Reuben Barlett

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Reuben Barlett has been an artist with Pablos Art Studios since 2022. He was brought to the studio by his support worker and has been creating art at Pablos since then. For Reuben, Pablos Art Studios has been a place for him to get away from the world and express himself. He enjoys the community and the ability to socialise with like-minded artists at the studio. Reuben works in watercolour and ink, using stencils and airbrushing to create horror and monster movie-inspired pieces. He believes that art is an extension of the self and he enjoys piecing his art together like a puzzle.    

Rosemarie Bowers

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Rosemarie Bowers has been at Pablos Art Studios for the past nine years (she joined in 2015) as a regular artist. Her style is influenced by architectural and interior design and nature, her work often showing nature landscapes and interior and exterior structures of buildings. Rosemarie is a mixed media artist, working mostly in acrylic and watercolour paint and paper collage. She also enjoys making zines and was involved in a collaborative zine that went into Zine Fest 2023. A regular painter for the popular, annual Pablos Art Auction, Rosemarie hopes that Pablos will be able to open a gallery space and increase opportunities for her fellow artists. “I believe Pablos is an amazing opportunity for artists and the community space is great for being able to show and share my artworks.” Rosemarie hopes to keep moving forward as an artist, alongside the community at Pablos. “We’re about moving forward, keeping focused and taking part in new things.”

Glenna Lee

Click here to read Glenna's story

Glenna Lee has been an artist with Pablos Art Studios for a year, joining in 2023. Introduced to Pablos through fellow artist Paul Holmes, Glenna is in the studio two or three times a week. She loves access to the special community and creative space that Pablos provides. “Pablos is a safe place where I can be creative and learn new things without any pressure,” she says. Glenna’s artistic style is gothic and steampunk-inspired but she is working to broaden her themes and artistic style. Utilising mediums like sewing and textiles, crochet and beading, Glenna feels happy expanding on her style and trying new things. “I’ve always been creative and a crafty person.” Sometimes she runs a beading class, making pins and badges. She enjoys that a lot and says Pablos gives her a chance to share her craft in a non-judgemental space. For Glenna, Pablos Art Studios is a place that makes the arts and creative healing more accessible to the public. “Pablos is an awesome place to be. It is good for healing, comfortable, and accessible to a lot of people.”


Our Funders / Supporters

 Wellington Community Trust

 Capital and Coast District Health Board


 Ministry of Social Development


 Frozen Funds Charitable Trust

Ministry of Culture & Heritage


Wellington City Council


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