With a love of the outdoors from an early age, North Canterbury-based artist Viv Kepes draws extensively on the natural world in her paintings. In 2019 she received a Masters in Fine Arts with Distinction (Painting) at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, where she also received her Bachelor in Fine Arts (Hons First Class, Painting) in 2017. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree from Victoria University of Wellington. She has been awarded the Ethel Rose Overton Scholarship (2018); the Ethel Susan Jones Fine Arts Travelling Scholarship (2018); was a Parkin Prize Finalist (2018) and received Bickerton-Widdowson Scholarships in 2017 and 2018.
Her work has been included in a number of group exhibitions including: Forms of Perception, Group Show with Motoko Kikkawa, Donna-Marie Patterson and Arabella Spoors, at PG Gallery192 (2017); and Select’17, School of Fine Art Gallery, Christchurch (2017); Group show with James Robinson and Polly Gilroy, PG pop-up Gallery (2017/18); Never an Answer: 12 Abstract Painters, created to celebrate 125-years of women’s suffrage, at The Vivian Gallery, Matakana (2018); Envoys Onwards, Te Uru, Waitakere, Auckland (2018); Parkin Prize Finalist Exhibition 2018, New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington; Xmas’18, PG Gallery192, Christchurch (2018); and Associated, group show, Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA) (2018). In 2019 Kepes had a solo exhibition, Remember Me, Rangitahua’s Treasure at PG Gallery192, and in 2021 Tribute. Bouquet., an exhibition with Janeth Gil at PG Gallery 192.