Creative Tauranga has just published a new arts guidebook that will allow the public and visitors into the homes of local artists.

The Arts & Craft Art Gallery Trail 2005/2006 provides contact information and sneak previews of the art and craft art available for public viewing at local galleries and artists’ studios. Nearly all artists featured in the new guidebook are opening their home studios to anyone wanting to view and learn about their art and craft art.

The idea for the trail book came from Creative Tauranga's Chief Executive, Tracey Rudduck, who knew there were numerous local artists working from their homes who were not getting the exposure they needed. She also got a lot of inquiries from visitors wondering how to find local art.

Copies of the book can be found at the region's i-Site Visitor Centres located on Willow Street in Tauranga, Salisbury Avenue in Mount Maunganui, Main Road in Katikati and Jellicoe Street in Te Puke. Tracey said the guide will also be available at visitor centres in Rotorua and Taupo so visitors coming to Tauranga can include the arts trail in their itineraries

Tracey says the guidebook has been very well-received from artists and the public. "We've already had artists ring up and ask about getting featured in the next version of the guide," she said. "We have a lot to celebrate in our city's art and craft art culture," she added.

Tourism Bay of Plenty's General Manager, Tim Burgess, says "The guide is a great way of encouraging visitors to stay longer and do more while they're here. It also helps show what a creative community we have."