President and Chief Curator: Paul Heffernan email

Treasurer: Dennis Matthews email

Volunteer Coordinator: Andrea Walker email

Phillipa Christie 
George Austin 
Colleen Waite 
Helen Stuart 
Ursula Graham 
Karen Austen


Thames Society of Arts Inc. was formed by a group of local artists in late 1973. They had just closed a successful exhibition of their art, in the Football Club rooms (now a Gym) at the southern end of Thames town.

The need for a formal Society to encourage the many local artists in the community, was discussed over the proverbial glass of local wine.

Tuition and exhibitions, the meeting of like-minded people, and perhaps demonstrations of other crafts, some of the ideas thrown about.

So, that night a steering committee was formed, Bernie Poff as President, and Phillipa Christie as secretary.

All of this finally came to fruition as an Incorporated Society in 1974.

The need for a home was paramount. The Old Thames North School was standing empty. Why not try for that ?, it was the ideal answer.

Dr. Bob Edward and his wife Isla, keen promoters of both the performing arts, and the visual, approached Government, Council and Education Departments.

Finally a conclusion of ownership was reached, and through their efforts, we had the building. This was, and still is shared with the Thames Operatic Society now known as MAD - Music and Drama.

Our aim was realized. We have held many exhibitions, both members and invited artists, over the years. Weekly artist groups, Weekend Tutorials in many mediums, and regular events keep the space and our artists inspired. All enriching our knowledge. We are lucky have members from a wide area, who participate in what we offer.

And now, we have a refurbished Gallery we can be proud of, thanks to the hard work of two or three dedicated members. The Gallery was reopened with an excellent Members Exhibition, and celebrating our 40th year.

We aim to have a changing display, so there is always something new to see. The Gallery is open 7 days, and this is thanks, now, to a splendid band of volunteers.

We feel now Thames has an Arts Centre to be Proud of.

We've had some great reviews on TripAdvisor!

"Wonderful watercolour prints"
[5 of 5 stars] Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Loved the gallery. Saw a large watercolour print by Jeanne-Marie Cantereau which I loved, went away and thought how was I going to get it back to Christchurch and decided I had to have it. Went back to the gallery to find an American couple had bought it and another couple of her prints. The lady at the gallery rangJeanne-Marie and asked if we could go to her studio. Her gallery was 5mins away. Jeanne-Marie said she would do a similar print if I would like and if I didn’t like it I didn’t need to purchase.
We loved the photo of the print and it was sent to Christchurch in a very sturdy photo/ print professional box. I would recommend Jeanne-Marie to anyone interested in her prints. She is very professional and also the transaction was done fast without any issues.

"Mixed media and very diverse range of local art"
[4 of 5 stars] Reviewed 2 January 2018

You like art? Have a gander at some of the local work. I was very impressed by some of the use of mixed media, unusual craft, pottery and woodwork. Lady in there was very lovely.

"Anything a craft fan could wish for"
[5 of 5 stars] Reviewed 11 April 2017

Local artists exhibit their craft (paintings, pottery, silk, felt, wool, wood), everything is for sale for any budget - a great place to stop for a visit!!

"An splendid exhibition of local art in Thames."
[5 of 5 stars] Reviewed 26 March 2017

This old converted school house lends its space to an exhibition of local and semi local, artists work.
The building itself is interesting and inviting.
Very nice to see such a variety of media under the whole umbrella of art and sculpture, with artists ranging from amateur to professional.
Many lovely pieces of local scenes and delicate watercolours of flowers.
Well worth a visit if you are in the area.