The Ivy Box Art Gallery

Rekindling Event Friday 13th April 2018 / WATCH THIS SPACE!

The Ivy Box Rekindled 
The Ivy Box art studio and viewing room will be temporarily closed to the public from early May while exciting refurbishments are made to the historic gallery building.
Watch this space for a beautiful make-over of this outlet of original art. Owner/ artist Lynda Hensman will be focussing more on developing this space as her own as she continues on her journey of many styles, breaking the rules and delighting people with her unique and varied artistic techniques.
Friends and art lovers are warmly invited to share a little food and a glass of wine to celebrate all of what has been created over the last three years and to raise a toast to past and present artists who have helped to make this amazing and unique space what it is today.
Where: The Ivy Box, 134 Park Street, Queenstown
When: Friday 13th April, from 5:30pm

In the meantime, you can shop online right here or contact the gallery on

You can also find out more on our Facebook and Instagram feeds.

We’re back painting at the Ivy Box studio this Spring 2017! We’ll be open by appointment (contact or you can shop online right here. The gallery will be open Wednesday – Sunday, but as we’re all busy painting, the doors may not be always open… feel free to give us a call/email or pop into the studio if you’re passing and we’ll happily give you a tour of the gallery.

We’ve got work by JAB hanging in the gallery – his bright, quirky artworks are loved throughout New Zealand and we’re thrilled to have him on board.

Lynda has been working on a beautiful new series of paintings, inspired by some recent study sessions. They’re glossy yet subtle, playing with light and depth. Maree has been combing the beaches of Queenstown and has created yet more gorgeous wooden hearts. JR has also been busy – he’s created another great classic hut painting and there’s a blank canvas ready to go on the easel… who knows what’s next?!

See more from all of the artists on our Facebook and Instagram feeds.


Brrr! It’s cold here in Queenstown, New Zealand so to conserve energy we’re closing our doors for Winter. We’ll be open by appointment (contact or you can shop online right here.

We’ll also be working in the studio upstairs most of the time, where’s it’s a bit warmer (and closer to the kettle!) If you’re passing by, pop up and say hello. We’d be more than happy to chat about our artwork and give you a tour of the gallery downstairs.

We’ve got exciting plans for the Spring season – more exhibitions, more painting, more creating outside of the square! Watch this space!

Autumn 2017 at The Ivy Box Gallery
Autumn 2017 at The Ivy Box Gallery

Autumn at the Ivy Box Art Gallery 2017

Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year here in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Cloaked in ivy and creeping climbers, our gallery by the lake has turned a vibrant shade of red as the weather gets cooler and The Remarkables mountain range receives its first dusting of snow.

We love our quirky home on the lakeside, which changes colour throughout the year, according to the whims of each season. We’ve also enjoyed welcoming many visitors from every corner of the world as they drop in during their scenic walk, or specifically seek us out to discover new and exciting Kiwi artworks.

We’ve had an exciting summer season and will be winding down a little over autumn/ winter to reflect the colder days and darker evenings. Our opening times will now be:

Wednesday to Saturday, 10am – 3pm.

Feel free to come and explore our beautiful gallery and enquire about the artworks, which have been created by local artists with passion and ‘outside of the square’ thinking.

We’re currently open by appointment. Just contact Gallery Director Lynda Hensman on 027 305 5826. 

An art exhibition at the Ivy Box Gallery
An art exhibition at the Ivy Box Gallery

Dirty Laundry

An exhibition of raw human truth, emotion and secrets

Exhibition opening: Friday, 18th November 2016, 5:30pm – 9pm (ish)

Thank you to everyone who got involved and shared something on the postcards distributed across the country. Your ‘dirty laundry’, the secrets, emotions and truths you noted down have been anonymously shared with our artists, who are currently creating works of art informed by your submissions.

On Friday, 18th November, join us for nibbles and beverages, poetry readings and live music from the talented Craig Hubber. Join us and find out what’s under the skin of Queenstown and the world…


An art exhibition at the Ivy Box Gallery


The Ivy Box Gallery Queenstown wants your ‘dirty laundry’. No, not your washing, we’re asking you to peel back the layers and share your inner self as part of a raw art exhibition of human truth and emotion.

The Ivy Box Gallery will gather secrets, anecdotes and poetry and transform a selection into a unique exhibition of artwork, in collaboration with talented New Zealand artists.

Your contribution will be anonymous (unless you don’t want it to be). You can send it to us via our website messaging service, which requires your name and email, but this will not be published. You can also send your contribution via our special postcards posted across Queenstown, New Zealand (and even a few internationally).

This exhibition is about getting that monkey off your back, it’s an invitation to release what’s deep inside. It’s a cathartic process to share your inner self, your secrets and emotions.

Experts at converting the inner self, thoughts and feelings into tactile and expressive works of art, selected artists will convert contributions into an art exhibition which will creep across the walls of the gallery. Find out what’s under the skin of Queenstown and the world at our unique exhibition opening 18th November 2016.

Submission Guidelines

  • All submissions will remain anonymous, unless you express that you would prefer to be named.
  • By submitting to the project, you accept that your notes and comments will be used as part of an art exhibition and that our artists are free to interpret all submitted material as they wish.
  • Submissions are sent of your own free will and will not be remunerated.
  • Submissions will not be returned. The Ivy Box Gallery may keep submissions for future art exhibitions or artworks, all submissions will remain anonymous.

Submission box locations

Queenstown Library (Queenstown Lakes District Libraries)
Fluid Queenstown
Otautahi Tattoo Queenstown

Lakes District Museum

Cinema Paradiso

Invercargill Library (Invercargill City Libraries and Archives)
Art Supplies Southland

Pierre Peeters gAllery
The drawing Room Art Supplies

…more to follow. Find the box nearest to you and write down a secret on a postcard, go on, get that monkey off your back!

An art exhibition at the Ivy Box Gallery

Meet the Photographer – Jo Boyd

Jo from Riverlea Photography is on board with The Ivy Box, as our official photographer of all artworks!
Checkout some of her other amazing photography over on her website!

Meet the Artist – Kassia Skiles

Our ivy-cloaked gallery on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand, is full of talented artists. One such talent is the colourful Kassia. We interviewed Kassia about her influences, her art and what it’s like living in Queenstown…

Kassia's colourful artwork

Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do in Queenstown…

I’m an artist and I’ve just recently gone full time!

I was born near Birmingham, UK but I have lived all over the world. Brighton, the Isle of White, America… I met my partner there. I lived in Australia previously and then moved to New Zealand in 2005. I fell in love with Queenstown and have been here ever since.

So how did you get into painting?

I’ve found Queenstown incredibly inspiring. I’ve always been a creative person, but I started to paint seriously here.

I taught art for about three years and then stopped painting completely for two years. I realised I’d lost the passion. Perhaps this was from being too structured with my art and the way it is taught. I’m really passionate about colour (Kassia says, looking great in a bright pink cardigan and a teal and blue scarf).

I’d suppressed that, I’d focussed on the idea that art was about something else and it took those two years away from art to reconnect with what I’m passionate about.

You have to find you when creating. We have a tendency to take on limitations and a fear of judgement holds us back. I think if there’s something you want to express, you should do it; I feel I’m on a journey of self-discovery through art. It’s very freeing to feel comfortable with who you are.

How did you get involved with The Ivy Box Gallery?

I met Lynda (artist and owner of the Ivy Box) through art classes about ten years ago. There was definitely a connection between us, a similar creativity, but we’ve really gelled since I’ve come on board with the Ivy Box. As soon as I walked in, I knew it was going to be a part of my journey. I think it’s a fantastic place with a great vibe!

Tell us how you go about creating your art…

I work mainly in acrylic, eventually I’d like to move back to oils again, it moves beautifully but dries to slow for me!

I start a new painting as soon as an idea comes to me. I’ll wake up at 3am with an exciting new idea and I’ll get up straight away and start. I often spend a few months on a piece, it depends on how I feel about it. Sometimes it feels like the painting needs something else, another layer, so I’ll keep working on it until I feel like it’s finished.

What inspires you creatively?

Colour! I used to win colouring in contests all the time as a kid, I love vibrant colours. I just suppressed it until recently. Painting landscapes didn’t fulfil me.

I enjoy walking and am moved by the beauty of everything around me. I’m a very positive person, I wasn’t always, but now I’ve learned to discover the ebbs and flows of life, to focus and give attention to what makes me happy. That said, contrast brings clarity, there’s nothing wrong with being down.

When I get my paints out, I feel what I want to paint – I choose a colour and express what I feel, that’s why it feels so good, I’m being true to myself and not painting what I think others want. I think people connect with that authenticity. I feel so positive when I paint and I think people pick up on this.

Do you have a mantra that you live by?

Do what you love and you’ll love what you do.

An art exhibition at the Ivy Box Gallery

IMPRESSIONS Art Exhibition

IMPRESSIONS – an exhibition of portraits and profiles with a twist at The Ivy Box.
The evening includes drinks and nibbles and live music from the talented Craig Hubber.
New and original artwork from Minhal Al Halabi, Tess Sheerin, Renne Hadlow, Lynda Hensman and more. 
Join us from 5pm at the beautiful lakeside gallery on Friday 22nd April, 134 Park Street, Queenstown.

Meet the Artist – JR McCormack

The Ivy Box Gallery is home to a plethora of passionate artists with different styles, techniques and personalities! We had a chat to one of resident artists, the one and only JR McCormack. Self-professed ‘maintenance man’ of the gallery, when JR isn’t painting in his studio, he’ll be helping us to hang paintings and water the plants.


Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do…

I’m a multi-dimensional cross-dressing freak with many personalities. Originally from Wyndham, Southland and a product of Southland Boys High. My name is John Raymond McCormack, but lots of people call me JR… that’s a joke about an American TV programme called Dallas. Apparently JR Ewing had a really big house and I worked with a group of Americans who found the comparable size of my Queenstown cottage ironic. I’m a professional competitive sportsperson. Competitive swimming, surf lifesaving, white water rafting guide, top level surfing, tandem glide pilot… I have a big competitive streak and I’ve worked in a number of fields that played to that.

So how did you get into painting?

I started out dabbling in photography and began to paint during injury recovery time. As I got older, I began to paint more regularly and then in 2001 I decided to give being a full time artist a shot for three years. The plan was to quit if it didn’t work out. I’m still going, I’m just putting the prices up now…

What are your thoughts about living and working in Queenstown?

Well, I’ve been in Queenstown for 35 years now. My parents had a holiday home here so we visited frequently before that. It’s been incredible watching it change and develop. Many people wondered when the world would discover Queenstown and now they have, it’s time to accept it or move on. Personally, I think it’s amazing. It’s exciting, like living in a city but with incredible natural surroundings. As an artist, this growth means that there’s lots of new homes that all need art. It’s an opportunity to stake your claim as an artist and to push your abilities.

What is your creative process like?

I tend to paint series, linked by a theme or image like the green tea pot, or the current mountain hut series. I’ll see something when I’m riding my bike or out for a run, it’ll play on my mind so I’ll go back and visit with my camera and take a lot of images. I take about three weeks to formulate an image in my mind and then… the penny drops. I’ll grab that thought and then sketch it out, usually, that’s 60 – 70 % of the painting completed. I just need to paint! It develops, of course, as I paint, like the seals in The Evolution of Esquiliant Bivouac. There’s certainly no seals near the actual hut and they weren’t in the original sketch. The titles are very important to the overall story of the painting; ‘evolution’ is a nod to those seals. There’s a competitive intensity in my approach to painting, it’s similar to the way that I approach sports. I’m a bit like Lance Armstrong, minus the drugs.

Do you have any advice for budding artists?

I’ll borrow from Nike – Just Do It. I think that’s probably the most profound advice on the planet.

Guest Artist – Minhal Al Halabi

Minhal Al Halabi was born in the Golan Heights, and has painted and sculpted since childhood. He attended the Institute of Fine Art in Kiev, Ukraine, after which he lived in South Africa, where he mostly painted murals.
He later moved to New Zealand where he has lived and worked since. His work includes paintings, murals and sculpture in various mediums, including bronze.

We have been lucky enough to exhibit two of MINHAL AL HALABI gorgeous pieces.

Follow his journey and see the rest of his artwork over at

Kassia's colourful artwork

Opening Night

Massive thank you to Craig Hubber for his live music and the fabulous Jo Boyd for the photos of the opening. Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated the opening and all the wonderful feedback. The Ivy Box is now offically open from Tuesday to Saturday 11am to wine time! Cheers from all the crew, Lynda, Kate, John and Nicci x

Getting Ready for Opening

Getting ready for the opening….could think of worst ways to spend a stormy day. Just a reminder to save this date: 4th Dec 5.30 re our opening @ The Ivy Box, 134 Park St. Queenstown.  to see you there, check out The Ivy Box page on Facebook.