Blue Oyster


Tuesday11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Wednesday11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Thursday11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Friday11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Saturday11:00 am – 3:00 pm.


16 Dowling Street

03-479 0197

The scenery’s forever changing at Blue Oyster, the largest contemporary art project space in Otago/Southland. Originally founded in 1999, the space have been operating out of their Dowling Street location since 2013 and are dedicated to supporting critical artwork produced in New Zealand, operating as a non-profit art space to give artists, writers and curators the opportunity to experiment, create and test their ideas without the pressure to sell their work. With a new exhibition every month there’s always something fresh to appreciate. Blue Oyster also produces publications and plays host to other events within the arts community, including artist talks, panel discussions, workshops and film screenings. They also hold an annual performance series during the Dunedin Fringe Festival and produce a project during Matariki every June-July.

Director Chloe Geoghegan appreciates Dunedin’s distinctive dialogue; “We love operating from Dunedin because it has a uniquely large creative output for such a small city with not much economic action. Since the days of the gold-rush and wool exporting, Dunedin has been in a slow decline, with less and less jobs and living is a real struggle here. So it’s pretty amazing how much creativity exists in this place, from music to art performance to fashion to design and public art.”

One of a small group of artist-run spaces set up in the 90s, Blue Oyster only grows stronger year to year, using their skills, resources and services to help emerging creatives professionally develop their artistic practices. Showing 50% local and 50% national work, they feel it is important for Dunedin to be connected with a wider perspective so the space also occasionally exhibits international artists as well as participating in overseas projects. It’s free to come and see Blue Oyster shows and participate in our other events, so simply sign up to the email list on their home page to get updates and opportunities to participate!

Words by Abigail Egden & Photography by Naomi Haussmann

16 Dowling Street

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