Colin Verner

Kuaotunu local Colin Verner has always been a lover of art and creativity. Although he never formally studied art in his younger years, it has been a hobby since childhood. In his 20s he took the plunge and went to study at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design in Auckland and graduated with honors in 1996. He then received a graduate assistantship to study, work and live at Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, USA.

 After graduating he worked for an art consultant in NYC for about two years, and then decided to travel more. He spent four years teaching English based in South Korea, where he also expanded his artistic abilities with a studio there. He regularly exhibited alongside Korean artists and won the Hanam city arts festival award in the sculpture category in 2003.

When he decided it was time to settle down, his journey eventually brought him home to the Coromandel. As a lover of water activities, the Coromandel is the perfect home for Colin.“Living in the Coromandel I get the best of both worlds,” says Colin. “I get to pursue my passion and love for art, but I also get to enjoy the ocean and go out boating, diving and enjoying the beauty around me. Since settling here, I’ve found myself becoming more and more inclined to create artworks provoked by the environment. In particular the dynamism of the sea and the sky has become a source of inspiration for me. However, I don’t want to depict what we can already clearly see. For me art is an exploration of consciousness. My aim is to draw something of nature out from within myself. I create drawings and mixed media artworks that explore the melding of external phenomenon with the internal processes that function to make us conscious”. 

Colin is a mixed media artist working predominantly with wood, but he also likes to work with glass and ceramics where he can. He has a range of artistic wood products for sale from his studio or online, and he also creates drawings and one-off mixed media sculptures. His studio in Kuaotunu is open by appointment, and during the summer months it is open to visitors most weekends if his banner is out on SH25.

  • Exhibitions


    Group shows:

    10 Artists, Kuaotunu, February 2020

    Mercury Bay Art Escape , Hotwaves gallery, March 2019

    10 Artists, Kuaotunu, February 2019

    David LLyod Gallery, past exhibitors, Hamilton, 2018

    Mercury Bay Art Escape, Hotwaves gallery, March 2018

    10 artists, Kuaotunu ,February 2018

    Mercury Bay Art Escape, Hotwaves gallery, March 2017

    10 Artists, Kuaotunu, February 2017

    Mercury Bay Art Escape, Hotwaves gallery, March 2016

    Hanam City Arts Festival, Hanam City Hall Gallery , South Korea,  2003

    Group 46, Chong Dam art gallery, Seoul, South Korea, 2003

    Group 46, Namyangju city hall, South Korea, 2002

    Namyangju  Arts Annual,  Gallery liz, South Korea, 2001

    St John's art annual, Newark NJ, USA. 2000

    Novo artists group installation  HLW New YorkCity, USA,  2000

    St Johns art annual Newark, NJ,USA,  1999

    Gallery 1, Montclair State University,  graduate sculpture exhibition, New Jersey, USA.  1998

    Chiaroscuro Gallery, Auckland , Graduate exhibition, 1996

    Telecom Art Awards, Auckland, 1994

    Telecom Art Awards, finalist, 1993


  • Solo exhibitions :

    David LLyod Gallery,  Hamilton, 2016

    Mosaic Art Gallery , Whitianga, 2015

    Prime art space,  Masterton,  2006

    Gallery one Montclair State University,  Graduate exhibition, New Jersey,  USA. 1999

    Warwick Brown Gallery,  Auckland , 1997

  • Work history

    Evakona Education.

    Whitianga Campus.

    18 South Highway, P.O.Box 98, Whitianga.

    Since 2013 I have worked at Evakona as an ESL teacher and as an activity instructor.

    Coromandel Outdoor Language Center (COLC).

    21 Robinson Rd, Whitianga

    Since 2011 I have worked part–time at COLC as an activity instructor and as a relieving ESL teacher.


    Bamboo Bach and Studio.

    19 Cemetery Rd, Kuaotunu

    For 12 years I’ve been self-employed, producing woodcrafts and artwork for sale from my studio in Kuaotunu. 

    June 2004 to February 2001(South Korea):

    (a)   ECY English Language School.

    Hanam City, South Korea

    I worked in Hanam City, South Korea, as an English Teacher for the ECY franchise, and was sub-contracted to teach at local elementary and high schools.

    (b)   I had a sculpture studio near Hanam City in the industrial area of Maesok. I was invited to join several group exhibitions in Seoul and Gyongi provinces alongside Korean artists. In 2003 I entered and won the Hanam City Arts Festival Awards in the category of sculpture.

    February 2001 to 1999 (U.S.A)  

    Novo Arts Inc. 57 east 11th St. NYC.

    Upon graduating from Montclair State University I received a one year work visa and was employed by Marlena Deppe, an art consultant based in New York City. We designed, produced and installed art for corporate and private clients throughout the USA.

    1999-1997 (U.S.A)

    Montclair State University 9 Normal Avenue, Upper Montclair, New Jersy, U.S.A

    I was awarded a graduate assistantship to study towards an MA at Montclair State University in New Jersey, USA. I worked as an assistant in the International Center for the Arts at the University, doing research and producing promotional material, while studying towards an MA.


    After completing  polytechnic courses in Graphic Design I worked around Auckland as a sign-writer, while also studying towards a BFA at Whitecliffe College of Art and Design.