Our Story

From a small purpose-built studio on her home property in rural Taranaki, photographer, innovator and visionary Fay Looney MNZM established the local Ōakura Arts Trail with a small number of local artists.  Recognising the need to bring a larger number of visitors to her Koru Rd destination required a more diverse selection of work than purely her own, Fay approached a handful of local artists and generously offered her studio as a free space to collaborate, exhibit and sell their work from her now converted Art Gallery to be a part of the art trail.    

Visitor numbers rapidly grew and Koru on Koru quickly became a recognised “Place of Interest” in both the Ōakura Arts Trail and the Taranaki Fringe Garden Festival over the following few years. Visitor count rapidly grew, with sales of sculpture, glass, original paintings, ceramics, and photography all going directly back to the artists.   
In 2018 Sean and Marie Grace, followers of Koru on Koru and local retail landlords in New Plymouth’s CBD, approached Fay and offered her a place on New Plymouth’s central Devon St to grow the gallery. Koru on Devon was born and flourished, offering artists a space for solo exhibitions as well as a well-supported platform for emerging artists to debut and launch their careers.  Unfortunately the building was sold shortly after resulting in the closure of the city gallery.  
Undeterred, the artists moved back to the original gallery at, Koru on Koru, and continued with momentum still growing.   
Six months later and over a conversation on fixing a string of pearls, Fay was once again offered the use of another New Plymouth CBD business premises, by close friend and Koru follower David Brownson. So in June 2019 Koru on Devon reopened in the central city in what was Brownson Jewellers. Linda McFetridge was appointed Gallery Curator, the Koru Collective of Artists was formed and friends of the gallery gravitated to the project to volunteer and staff the gallery.
Brownson Jewellers sponsored the Koru on Devon for the initial 14 months in the space, allowing Koru to re-establish itself and become fully sustainable as a non profit incorporated society in 2020. Surviving the following turbulent times of covid, Fay again was approached by another Koru Gallery follower and the decision was made to move Koru on Devon to its current premises The Whites Building owned by Ekdahl properties.   
Once again the Koru family of artists volunteers and friends set to work to refit the space. Stripping back the floors and celebrating the past history of the iconic building, the Koru team dedicated time effort sweat and happy tears to create a space they are incredibly proud of. We especially need to thank Clinton and the team from Ansell Flooring and Steve Ekdahl for his stunning design on the wall panels and the magic they wove in helping us produce the incredible space we now have.   
Koru on Devon is now a well-established thriving gallery that not only provides the local Koru collective and guest artists a stunning home to exhibit and share their work, but is a destination for locals and visitors to New Plymouth’s CBD to be able to appreciate buy and experience art as well as connect with the artists themselves.   
And what a journey it has been!