Latest News from WSA

Farewelling Ruth

We’re sad to report that Ruth Davey has passed away, having achieved her century just eleven days ago. She died peacefully on 26 December in the company of friends and family. There was a small private cremation service this week and there will be a public gathering to say farewell and celebrate her remarkable life later in January. The date and venue will be advertised when confirmed.

When Ruth and Lester Davey moved to Hamilton in 1960, one of the first things they did was join the WSA. This proved the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with the organisation and the foundation of many art friendships and collaborations.

After first studying monoprint with Campbell Smith, she commuted to Auckland to learn more techniques, and later began to build her printmaking skills with local mentors, such as Susan (Poff) Flight in Thames. By 1973 Ruth had established printmaking classes at the WSA Art School. Through the art school she taught relief and intaglio printmaking, drawing, watercolour and papermaking.

1970 saw her first exhibition, with Campbell Smith and Irma Conroy. In 1975 she was in the International Year for Women exhibition, Eight Waikato Artists, and had her first solo exhibition in 1978 at Studio Gallery. Her WSA friends will remember her part in the annual printmaking exhibition that became Waiprint and in the popular Left Bank festivals.

Over the following years Ruth exhibited around NZ and overseas, including in the UK, where she spent two extended study periods in Cumbria and Bristol. She was a foundation member of Print Council Aotearoa NZ (established in 2000 as Central Print Council) and has been an enthusiastic participant in their workshops and exhibitions, forming many new print friendships.

Ruth continued teaching etching classes until the mid-1990s, gradually handing over to Joan Travaglia and Stan Boyle, and afterwards came along as a classmate, always happy to help out with advice or a demo.

In 2013 she was in the group exhibition at Waikato Museum:  Don’t Fence Me In: Wise Waikato Women Artists 1930s-1970s. Later that year, in time for her 90th birthday, came a retrospective exhibition at ArtsPost:  Ruth Davey: A Lifetime of Drawing and Printmaking.

In recognition of her importance as a Waikato artist, Waikato Museum has acquired many of Ruth’s prints and virtually all of her sketchbooks, dating back to the 1950s.

Since their move to Hilda Ross, the Davey’s have put the remainder of Ruth’s art in the stewardship of the WSA, where the prints and some drawings are available to see and to purchase.


‘Tracing Water’

by Sybille Schlumbom

17 Feb – 12 Mar

Opening Event – Sat 17 Feb 1pm-2pm

This solo exhibition at blue Gallery follows on from Sybille’s group exhibition Traces. During this exhibition Sybille will be working on site; so the works will be in flux. Be sure to call in to view her stunning works.

blue Gallery

3 Anzac Parade, Hamilton

Wednesdays – Saturdays 11.30am-3pm


Our latest newsletter is now available by clicking on the link below:

Art School

Term 1 Classes

These are now available for enrolments online.

Our art classes have low student to tutor ratios so can fill up quickly.  Our experienced tutors have quality lessons for all ages and skill levels at the WSA.

We now have Afterpay available. You can pay class fees, membership fees and more, over 4 payments, interest free. When you ‘view cart’ at checkout, click on the afterpay option.

Office Hours:

Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

Sat 9am-4pm

Sun 10am-3pm

(Occasionally these can vary so please call ahead first if you are making a special trip)

Exhibition Opportunities

We now have several spaces where our members, students and tutors have opportunities to exhibit their own work apart from our Student Gallery, please enquire at the office if you would like to know more.

Don’t forget to follow us on instagram for updates on blue gallery and everything else we have going on at WSA.

Chace and his team at Mavis and co. Rototuna, have  kindly let us hang exhibitions from our WSA members and students. On display now is an exhibition by Amritpal Kaur. Make sure to see this and perhaps pick up a piece for someone special.

Our Vision - Fostering creativity and growth of visual arts

Our Mission

Supporting local artists with learning facilities and providing resources and exhibition opportunities. Waikato Society of Arts is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to serving the art of the visual artist and art lovers at every stage of their development. WSA works to enrich the community by supporting growth and development of the visual arts through classes, exhibitions, forums and fellowship. WSA holds several exhibitions each year and we are especially proud of hosting the National Youth Art Award and the New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award, both attracting entries from all over Aotearoa.

Become a WSA Member today and enjoy a range of benefits.

Includes $40 off all art classes