Welcome to Art Metro!

My name is Simon Walmisley. I am husband of Nadine with whom I have just celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary, and father of 3 awesome kids: Elora, Lucas and Kellen. We also own 6 chickens who provide the cafe with a daily supply of fresh free range eggs. Finally we have one scaredy cat who, while always seeming to enjoy stalking the chickens through the garden, is way to timid to actually follow through on the kill!

Up until 2012 I had been a teacher, but I was fortunate enough to know the Harcourts business agent who was selling the Art Metro for the previous owner. It was through her that I first heard about the Art Metro and the opportunity of owning it. She sent me down for a coffee and I fell in love with the place almost immediately. The coffee and the food were just the best, and the students were so welcoming and friendly.

2013 was a roller-coaster ride for me as I had to come to grips with running a business, and all that that implies. I got to know the 200 students who came here every week to learn and develop their artistic passion and skill. I learnt to comply with the expectations of the IRD, which was suprisingly easy having worked under the Ministry of Education for so long! I had to learn about art myself, so I could better support the artists who work here and the people who come to learn.

Simon Art Metro

Today I look back and think what an awesome year 2013 was. The staff and the students were so welcoming, and the place has gone from strength to strength. We now have 4 tutors working through the week and over 400 students spending time to discover that creative something inside of them!

People seem to be looking for something new to do, and art fills such a special need in people that after having been here for a term, they all sign up again for more. I am currently attending my Friday afternoon art class and having the best time, so if there is something inside of me that can be brought out on canvas without it looking too shabby, then there must be something inside of everyone.

Come on in and check us out sometime. Our students are used to people popping through from the cafe to see what is going on. You will be amazed and inspired by the talent that the tutors have fostered in so many Cantabrians. I look forward to seeing you soon.



Art Metro’s teaching methods are designed to meet your specific learning needs, from beginners through to professional artists, who come for many different reasons, such as…

  • Aspiring artists
  • People who have always wanted to have a go
  • Artists that enjoy being with like-minded people
  • People who haven’t painted since school
  • People with bare walls
  • Busy people who are after some tranquil time out
  • People seeking something creative to do
  • Professional artists looking to refine their skills
  • …and many more!

We offer a range of art tuition in adults and children’s classes, which are individually taught in a group setting over nine week terms. Adults have a variety of oil, acrylic, pastels and drawing and sketching classes to choose from. As well as more advanced courses in impressionist and abstract painting styles. Children can take part in painting, drawing or cartoon classes during the term, as well as school holiday programmes.

While the pure enjoyment of creating amazing artwork is certainly the focus at Art Metro, our students are also encouraged to exhibit and sell their artwork. To help foster this, we hold ‘Gallery 700’ exhibition weekends, where the public can purchase art pieces from Art Metro’s emerging artists, for under $700. We also have our online gallery, where students artwork is able to be viewed for purchase.