The Franklin Arts Festival Society was formed in 1989 as a non-profit organization. The Society’s purpose was twofold: To celebrate and promote the artwork of established and emerging (especially young) artists in the Franklin area; and secondly, to create and sustain an annual exhibition of quality local artwork for viewing and for sale.

The first Festival, which was held in 1990, displayed 147 paintings by Franklin artists and numerous craft stalls.  Last year, the Festival exhibited more than 800 items, in the categories of paintings, works on paper, textile arts, pottery, photography, wood turning, small sculptures, and school art.  The Festival also has a vibrant craft shop with a variety of items for sale.

The Arts Festival draws entries primarily from what was once the Franklin District of South Auckland.  But with entries open to all New Zealand residents, the Festival receives numerous entries from artists around the country.

The original and subsequent committees for the Festival have followed three guide lines:

  • This is not a juried show.  Anyone can enter, either as an amateur or as a professional artist. 
  • To encourage student involvement, prizes are offered to students in a  Youth section.**
  • The exhibition’s admission price remains low, so that anyone can afford to view the artwork. There is free admission for all children up to high school age.
  • Each year the Franklin Arts Festival Society offers an art scholarship to a student at each of 3 of our local high schools to promote young artists in our community,

The Franklin Arts Festival is truly a community event.  The all-volunteer committee plus about 60-70 extra volunteers work to keep the festival going.

In 2018 when the closing date for entries was reached, over 800 pieces of art had been accepted.  The scope of the Festival has expanded to include both sculpture and glass works. Each of these sections welcomed a substantial number of entries. As always there was a fine collection of paintings and print and paperworks and each year these sections dominate the entries numerically.

The 10 day long Festival attracted some 3000 patrons

The 2020 Festival, in response to the 

Haere Mai 


**Due to the unusual circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Franklin Arts Festival Pop-Up show will not be split into categories, and no cash prizes will be awarded.