Miriama Grace Smith's Wellington

I am a Māori artist based in Wellington. I dabble in a few different areas within the creative arts, as a curator, muralist, illustrator, fashion designer and film art and wardrobe director. My favourite things to do in Wellington city are checking out the street art, exhibitions, events, live music, food and places to have a drink and dance with my friends. I also enjoy shopping at the boutique stores on Cuba Street, and taking my little dog Putiputi for walks on the awesome tracks Wellington has to offer.

Street art & beers at Fortune Favours

7 Leeds Street, Te Aro, Wellington

I always send people here to have a beer and check out some of Wellington’s sensational street art. Fortune Favours sits above a car parking area which is full of murals. My favourite is David Bowie, a giant piece done by my friend Xoe Hall. I love how massive it is. This piece has become iconic to Wellington now.

A David Bowie mural.

Support Māori musicians at Karaka Café

2 Taranaki Street, Wellington Central

Every Friday afternoon, Karaka Café has live music from local Māori musicians. I try to get here at least once a month to meet up with friends. Karaka Café is owned and operated by the Retimanu whānau, and their vision is to promote Māori and Pacifica culture in a positive light. It’s a nice, sunny spot by the water and they do hangi and have heaps of yummy kai moana. 

The exterior of Karaka Café.

Walk the Town Belt

Level 2, 57 Willis Street, Wellington

I like to take my little dog Putiputi for walks in the Town Belt Reserve. There are fabulous views of the city and heaps of different tracks that eventually link up in different spots. I enjoy how our walks can be different each day, depending on what track we want to follow. Eventually, you’ll get to the lookout where there’s a brilliant view of the whole of Wellington.

A view of a sunset from Mt Victoria Town Belt.

Feijoa cocktails at Viva Mexico

161 Riddiford Street, Newtown, Wellington

I love to go with friends to Viva Mexico in Newtown. The food is incredible, the staff are really friendly, and the cocktails are delicious. My favourite is the feijoa cocktail. For food, I usually get the quesadilla and the stuffed jalapenos. I always enjoy looking at the artworks and the colour popping decor, as well as listening to the awesome music, while we wait for our food to arrive.

The exterior of Viva Mexico.

Emerging art at Enjoy Gallery

211 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Enjoy is a great contemporary art gallery on Left Bank, off Cuba Street. It’s been around for 20 years and their strong focus is on emerging and contemporary artists. I’m on the board for Enjoy Gallery, so I’m quite involved in what they do there. It’s a great place for anyone wanting to check out new, local work. There are a few other galleries down Left Bank as well.

A man looking at art inside Enjoy Gallery.

Artist studios at Toi Pōneke

61/69 Abel Smith Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Toi Pōneke is a creative space run by Wellington City Council. This is where I have my art studio. There is a gallery space at the bottom, and then there are a whole lot of creative studios you can wander through if you’re wanting to check out the local, arty, creative scene. Everyone’s really friendly and there’s a new exhibition opening every month, as well as regular workshops run by artists.

The exterior of the Toi Poneke Arts Centre building.

Live music at Moon

167 Riddiford Street, Newtown, Wellington

Moon in Newtown is a great place to discover local music. Before lockdown, the $10 pizzas on Wednesdays was a regular thing for me. There’s always something different - poetry, DJs, bands or rappers. There are gigs here most nights. On Wednesdays they do $10 pizza. I love to go along for pizza and beer, and just see what cool and interesting music I get served up.

Liquor bottles behind the bar at Moon.

Hunters & Collectors hidden gallery

134 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Hunters & Collectors has a gallery space upstairs which supports local artists to exhibit. There’s always something cool on. The shop below also supports a few local clothing designers by selling their designs. Of course, Hunters & Collectors is most well known for its awesome and amazing vintage clothing. I wear a lot of bright colours so I'm like a magpie hunting around for the bright stuff. I bought a maroon-pink and gold kimono here recently that I’m completely obsessed with.

The inside of the art gallery at Hunters and Collectors.

See a show at Bats Theatre

1 Kent Terrace, Mount Victoria, Wellington

I love to check out theatre and arts shows at The Bats Theatre. It’s a really friendly, local vibe that’s super-supportive of the creative arts in Wellington. The theatre space is quite intimate and the foyer is more grand. FYI, the bathroom has, what I would say is the best selfie mirror in Wellington. It’s a full head-to-toe shot, the lighting is really good and the tiles in the background are really nice.

The exterior of Bats Theatre.

New brews at Garage Project Tap Room

91 Aro Street, Aro Valley, Wellington

The Aro Valley Garage Project Tap Room is a narrow little house that’s been converted into a bar. The walls are covered in art by local artists and the mirrors help it feel bigger. It’s so popular with the locals, it’s quite hard to get a table - we usually end up awkwardly standing along the sides. You know how busy it is by the number of bikes parked up outside. I adore the Pernicious Weed. It's between a pale ale and an IPA - a bit tangy, but not too much.

A man pouring beer.