Southland Museum and Art Gallery has attracted much comment after a letter to the Editor of the Southland Times calling an exhibition of Ralph Hotere drawings ‘trash’ and ‘not appropriate for young adults’. It’s good to see people taking an interest in their local museums and galleries, and that the letter drew extremely supportive responses from other readers! You can read these and other news stories in the members’ area of our website here (you need to be an MA member to log in).
Activity around the country
Around the country everyone is gearing up for – or hiding away from – that sporting event which will overtake us from 9 September. Museums and galleries have been making special efforts to put on great shows such as the inspiring and wide-ranging 2-part exhibition exploring currents of art throughout the Pacific, Oceania at Te Papa and City Gallery Wellington. And there is a flurry of activity as opening dates loom for Auckland Art Gallery, Rotorua Museum, the relocated Whangarei Art Museum, and the NZ Rugby Museum in its new home at the redeveloped Te Manawa.
You can check out these and all the other cultural activities being promoted to our rugby visitors as part of the REAL New Zealand Festival.
Mix and Mash is here again – Digital NZ has opened a competition with $40,000 in cash and prizes for the best mashup and remix of NZ content and data. There is online information and tutorials, and you are encouraged to take part in the discussions. There was also an actual launch event in Auckland on 4 August. The competition is open until 15 September, with winners to be annouced on 3 October. Visit the Digital NZ mixandmash website for details.
People in the news
We all know that museum and gallery people are interesting, although we don’t always know about the things that our colleagues do outside of work time. One such person is Jennie McCormick, customer services officer at Te Tuhi. Jennie’s alter ego is an amateur astronomer, and was the subject of Radio NZ’s Spectrum documentary last week, which you can listen to here.
Also on the radio was Tina Barton, Director of the Adam Art Gallery, talking about their current show Behind Closed Doors, which brings artworks from private collectors’ homes into the gallery. You can listen to Tina on The Arts on Sunday, 31 July. Other recent Radio NZ interviews have been with Scott Pothan (Whangarei Art Museum), Douglas Lloyd Jenkins (Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery) and Bill Macnaught (National Library, ex-Puke Ariki).
Diversity in focus
And a reminder about the museums and galleries session which is part of the Diversity Forum in Hamilton on 22 August. This is a great opportunity to spend some time focussing on professional practice with interested colleagues. You can download the flyer and registration information here. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you there.