Invitation to "Bella Italia" - 29th Apr 2018

Invitation to


You are invited to the opening of "Bella Italia" at 5.30PM on Friday 4 May at The Robert Piggott Gallery at 4 Jetty Street, Dunedin.
The exhibition features watercolour works by Ron Esplin that reflects visits to Italy, notably to Cinque Terre, Venice, Florence and Rome.
Ron has been busy painting at his studio in preparation for this exhibition, and has been painting some larger works to be included in the Main Gallery.

Images can be viewed on the following link

Tom Esplin works also on display:

In the Annex Gallery some original works, plus prints and giclees on canvas by Ron's father Tom will also be available.
The Exhibition is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM to 4PM, and on Mondays and Tuesdays from 12Noon to 2PM.  It continues until Tuesday the 15th of May.

INVITATION TO "ESPLIN" Tom, Clark & Ron - 14th Apr 2017


A Unique Family exhibition:

The Robert Piggott Gallery at 8 Jetty Street is hosting an unusual art exhibition opening on the 21st of April. The exhibition titled “ESPLIN” features the art work of three members of the same family, the father, Tom Esplin, and his two sons, Clark and Ron. Tom died in 2005, Clark now lives in Auckland and has hung up his palette, and Ron continues to paint in his studio in Jetty Street.
Oils, Acrylics, Watercolours:
It is of interest to note that each artist chose to execute their paintings in different medium, perhaps through serendipity, or the result of a subconscious desire not to tread on one another’s artistic toes.
Tom was predominantly an oil painter, painting by using a palette knife to apply the paint in a style known as “impasto”, while Clark painted in acrylics with brushes, and Ron continues to paint in watercolours.

Family Reunites in Art Exhibition:

The three family members have exhibited together before, but not since February 1999.
All three artists have travelled extensively, which is illustrated by the choice of subject matter in the exhibition featuring scenes of Europe, South America, Canada, and Asia for example.
Ron and Clark and father Tom would jokingly refer to their involvement in art activities as “The family Firm.”
In 2007, two years after Tom died, Clark and Ron published the "ESPLIN" book, an account of Tom and Edith's sixty years of marriage, travel and work together. The book features diary notes by Edith, and they are matched by Tom's paintings. It is not so much an Art book or a travelogue, but more a sixty year love story. 

Professor Tom Esplin won an Andrew Grant Open Scholarship to attend Edinburgh College of Art, where he was dux in his year. After graduating as a Specialist Art Teacher from Moray House Training College he taught art in Scotland before he and the family emigrated to New Zealand.  He held a lecturing appointment at Otago University for 30 years, ‘retiring’ to full time travelling and painting in 1985. During this time he developed his trademark and unique palette knife impasto technique, which makes his work so distinctive. He was active in the promotion of art in Otago, both as President of the Arts Society and of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society. His work is highly sought after by collectors and art lovers alike.
Fellow of the Royal College of Handicrafts, member of the NZ Academy of Fine Arts, member of the NZ Society of Industrial Designers

Clark Esplin was born in St Andrews, Scotland, and came out to New Zealand with his family in 1954. He is the son of the artist Tom Esplin and his wife, Edith, also a painter. He was educated at John McGlashan College, Dunedin, Dunedin Teachers' College, and the University of Otago. He is a member and former vice president of the Otago Art Society. He taught first in Otago, specialising in art at The Taieri High School, since 1976 he lived in Christchurch, where he is a life-member of COCA:- the Canterbury Centre of Contemporary Art. He is also a member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Art. He now lives with his wife, Margaret, in Auckland. He has been invited as a tutor at many successful adult art schools over the years. As a full time professional artist, he draws much of his inspiration from over twenty-five years of travel in Europe, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas.
Dip Teach, Paul Harris Fellow.

Ron was born in Edinburgh and painted recreationally from an early age before attending evening classes at Otago Polytechnic Art School in his home town of Dunedin prior to embarking in 1995 on a serious effort to develop his painting.
He has had a studio in Jetty Street in Dunedin for the last 10 years as a full time artist, and although he paints in acrylics and oils occasionally, he now concentrates on developing his watercolour painting.
Ron is an Artist member and former Council member of The Otago Art Society, and served several terms as a member of the Council of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society. He is also a member of Watercolour NZ, and The South Canterbury Art Society.
Ron has exhibited from Auckland to Invercargill and has had work exhibited in Otaru, Dunedin’s sister city in Japan, and is represented in the Dunedin City Council Art Collection and the Forrester Gallery in historic Oamaru.
Some of his work has been used to illustrate books, for example his watercolour of Otago University was one of only two colour plates published in “Oatcakes to Otago” written by Donald Offwood and sold extensively throughout New Zealand.
Ron spent a year as a regular contributor to Allied Press as a cartoonist, his “Birds eye view” featuring “Albert Ross”, a caricature of a Royal Albatross that appeared on the front page of The Otago Daily Times with humorous comment on local events and personalities.
Ron has also published six books, notably “In the Steps of my Father”, a book of Ron’s paintings of destinations that his father had visited before him.
A series of books now numbering five, began with “A Portrait of Otago” and continued with books of paintings of Southland, Europe, Asia, and one recently published of Dunedin paintings.
B.Com (Mktng.) Otago.

To view images click on this link.

An Invitation to “SONG’S VOICE” A warm evening of Song - at the Rob Piggott Gallery Thursday 6 March - 4th Apr 2017

An Invitation to “SONG’S VOICE”  A warm evening of Song - at the Rob Piggott Gallery Thursday 6 March An Invitation to �SONG�S VOICE ... gott Gallery Thursday 6 March

“SONG’S VOICE” Thursday 6 March at The Rob Piggott Gallery

A warm evening of Song... 
Aroha Ngatai shares the soul-beauty of her rich voice, with guitar accompaniment.
Bernie's Boy's entertain with Barber-Shop Quartet renditions.
- Vocal musical delight!

Enjoy a great musical evening in the Rob Piggott Gallery, and get the chance to talk with Mike O'Kane (a member of 'Bernies Boys') about his current exhibition 'JUST PLAYING'.

Refreshments included
30 seats only.

Text or phone pre-bookings, $10    Ph: 021-1062744

Door-sales: $15

Invitation - 19th Sep 2016

Invitation Invitation

You are warmly invited to the opening of "The Mind's Eye" an exhibition of Robert Piggott's Art at the Robert Piggott Gallery, 8 Jetty Street, on Friday 23 September from 5PM to 7.30PM

click the following link for images:

Great Reviews for Ron Esplin's Exhibitions "A Portrait of Dunedin" and "Visions": - 15th Sep 2016

Great Reviews for Ron Esplin's Exhibitions "A Portrait of Dunedin" and "Visions":

Having produced three other "Portrait of...." books featuring paintings of Ron's adopted country, New Zealand, Ron has turned his attention to the city that he and his family settled in from Scotland in 1954, Dunedin, "The Edinburgh of the South".
It seemed appropriate to launch the book of 90 paintings and accompanying editorial with an exhibition of Dunedin paintings, and that happened on the second of September 2016 at The Robert Piggott Gallery at 8 Jetty Street in Dunedin. In a second smaller Gallery the show was complemented with examples of Ron's ground breaking "Braille Art" under the title "Visions", and the two newspaper reports in the Otago Daily Times accompany this Newsletter.

Dunedin, "The Edinburgh of the South":

For those of you unfamiliar with Dunedin here is a brief synopsis. 
Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the principal city of the Otago Region. The Lay Association of the Free Church of Scotland, through a company called the Otago Association, founded Dunedin at the head of Otago Harbour in 1848 as the principal town of its special settlement. The name comes from Dn ideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. Today Dunedin has a population of over 120,000. and is considered one of the four main cities of New Zealand for historic, cultural and geographic reasons. For an artist like myself it provides an endless variety of subjects to paint given the unique and picturesque setting of this beautiful "Edinburgh of the South".

Ron Esplin "A Portrait of Dunedin" Exhibition and Book Launch. - 11th Aug 2016


"A Portrait of Dunedin"

"A Portrait of Dunedin" Exhibition and book launch opens on Friday 2 September from 5 to 7.30PM at The Robert Piggott Art Gallery at 8 Jetty Street. The exhibition and the book feature a wide range of watercolour paintings and subjects which celebrate the City of Dunedin in Ron's watercolour paintings . 

Launch of Ron's new book, "A Portrait of Dunedin"

Coinciding with the exhibition, will be the launch of Ron's new book, "A Portrait of Dunedin".
The exhibition runs until 13 September and is open during the Gallery hours, on weekends from 10AM to 4PM on weekends, and 12Noon to 2PM on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Working in the Gallery:

Ron will be working in the gallery during these times offering you the opportunity to see the artist at work.


"Visions" will be on display in the adjacent smaller Gallery. Ron has pioneered "Braille Art" inspired by his blind wife Julie Woods, and on display will be a number of his tactile mixed media works that are accessible to both sighted and visually impaired observers.
Ron is grateful to fellow artist and host Robert Piggott for supporting him in hosting this exhibition and book launch at his Gallery.

to access images please click on the following link.

Riversdale Arts Exhibition 2016 - 18th Jul 2016


Riversdale Arts Exhibition Invitation:

You are invited to the Riversdale Arts Exhibition opening on Friday, July 22 2016 at 7:00pm 
The opening night on Friday is a ticket only gala. Tickets cost $25 each and the evening starts at 7pm.
The exhibition runs from Saturday July 23rd - Sunday, July 31, closing at 5:00pm.
Each year between 70-80 artists get together and share in exhibiting their work. This year will be their 43rd year and I have been honoured with the invitation to run two watercolour workshops on Saturday and Sunday starting at 10AM and running through to 3PM.

“Wonderful Watercolour”

Wonderful Watercolour is a course that I have developed and used with groups in Otago, for example groups in Balclutha, Roxburgh, and in Dunedin The Green Island and Wakari Art Groups. When I opened a studio in Jetty Street 10 years ago, I started teaching water colour classes of between 3 and 6 individuals for 2 hours every Monday night and over that time I must have had in excess of 50 pupils come to the studio on a regular basis to take these classes.

I learned from teaching and enquiring of them what people wanted to learn, and from that information I developed a 15 page booklet that now forms the basis of “Wonderful Watercolour” Sessions.
I use the booklet as a guide through the session, and participants are welcome to take notes if they wish. The booklet is also available to purchase at $15.



Class Price $75
Contact Jodie for registration at
Payment confirms place in class. 

The Riversdale Art Exhibition 2016

The exhibition runs from Saturday July the 23rd until the 31st for free, but the opening night on Friday 22nd is a ticket only gala. Tickets cost $25 each and the evening starts at 7pm. For more info visit
Everyone is welcome.The venue is the Riversdale Community Centre, 73 Newcastle Street, Riversdale
"That Blind Woman" is giving a presentation on Saturday 23rd at a Wine and Cheese event beginning at 5PM.

For further details

To access images click on this link: Riversdale Arts Exhibition 2016

Otago Access Radio Fundraising Art Auction 6PM 23 March: - 3rd Mar 2016

Otago Access Radio Fundraising Art Auction 6PM 23 March:


Otago Access Radio Fundraising Art Auction 6PM 23 March:

In support of 'Youth Zone' on 105.4FM & 1575AM Wednesday 23 March at 6pm
at the Community Gallery, 20 Princes St, Dunedin

Invitation to You to The Community Gallery:

Otago Access Radio and the Otago Community Broadcasters Society warmly invite you to a fundraising art auction in support of 'Youth Zone' - free training and airtime opportunities for young people aged 7-22 years.

Notable Artists Work on Offer:

Included are more than 70 works by the likes of Jeffrey Harris, Ewan McDougall, Heather Dunckley, James Robinson, Anne Baldock, Janet de Wagt, Manu Berry, David Corbalis, Robert Scott, Jan Ingram, Emma Milburn and many other established and emerging local artists.

This is a great opportunity to buy quality artworks at an attractive price, and to support a worthy cause.

Works on Display from Saturday 19 March:

All works will be on display at the Community Gallery, 20 Princes St from Saturday 19 March (gallery hours 10am-5pm). Book bids will be accepted.

Hoping to see you there!

See Images on the following link:

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