Archive for April, 2012

2012 New Zealand Museum Awards

Last night we celebrated the 2012 New Zealand Museum Awards in style at the City Gallery in Wellington, during our MA12 conference. For the full list of winners and finalists, click here for the press release.

Congratulations to all winners and finalists, and thank you to everyone who entered, sposored, judged, hosted and came along to celebrate the  best of our museum achievements.

Nga mihi,
Museums Aotearoa team

NZ Museum Awards finalists

3 April 2012

New museum developments, innovative projects and excellent exhibitions will be recognised in the 2012 New Zealand Museum Awards.  Winners will be named from among 15 finalists at a gala dinner in Wellington on 19 April celebrating the fifth annual national museum awards. 

The selection panel, including guest judges Jock Phillips and Heather Galbraith, had a hard job selecting from the record number of entries. ‘The panel had some robust debate about which entries were most deserving, which is why we have such a large number of finalists’, says Phillipa Tocker, Executive Director of Museums Aotearoa. ‘We are delighted at the quality and quantity of these projects.’

A new feature this year is the category of ‘museum and gallery development’, which recognises some major capital projects completed recently.  While the scale of the finalists ranges from the Auckland Art Gallery rebuild and MOTAT Aviation Display Hall to more modest developments at Te Manawa and Whangarei Art Museum, each was a significant challenge which has exceeded expectations. 

In the innovation and new technology category, the judges have recognised mobile phone and online projects at Auckland Museum and Christchurch Art Gallery, and Waikato Museum’s innovative temporary wall system that addresses the issue of waste and sustainability for changing exhibitions.

The exhibition category drew the most entries, and the judges were attracted to those which stretched both the institution and the audience.  Challenging subjects were explored by Museums Wellington with Death and Diversity, and Dunedin Public Art Gallery in Still Life: The Art of Anatomy.  Other challenges were logistical, with Aratoi working with iwi to borrow a significant waka from Te Papa for Wairarapa Moana, and Luit Bieringa successfully encompassing 125 years of design in a free-standing exhibition Old School New School for Massey University in Wellington.

Christchurch museums were back in the awards this year with exhibitions from Canterbury Museum and Christchurch Art Gallery.  Both affected by and developed as a result of the earthquakes, Canterbury Quakes and De-Building offered visitors exciting ways of exploring and learning from their effects.

The other major national event of 2011 was recognised in Red, Yellow and (All) Black developed by Waikato Museum.  Among so many rugby-related offerings, the judges agreed that this exhibition stood out as engaging and user-friendly for all kinds of visitors. 

The award judges, Jock Phillips, Heather Galbraith, Greg McManus and Jane Legget, said that the entries exercised and impressed them.  ‘It is rewarding to see so many creative and exciting projects being produced despite – or in spite of – the financial and other challenges facing our public museums and galleries,’ said Phillipa Tocker, ‘the announcement of the winners on 19 April will be a wonderful celebration of their achievements.’

The New Zealand Museum Awards dinner at City Gallery Wellington is part of Museums Aotearoa’s MA12 conference, Collaboration in practice.  The awards programme is proudly sponsored by Story Inc, New Zealand’s leading creator of visitor experiences.

New Zealand Museum Awards 2012 Finalists 

Finalist                Project
Aratoi exhibition: Wairarapa Moana
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki project: gallery redevelopment
Auckland War Memorial Museum project: AQUA mobile trail
Canterbury Museum exhibition: Canterbury Quakes
Christchurch Art Gallery
Te Puna o Waiwhetu
online project: MyGallery
Christchurch Art Gallery
Te Puna o Waiwhetu
exhibition: De-Building
Dunedin Public Art Gallery exhibition: Still Life: The Art of Anatomy
Luit Bieringa exhibition: Old School New School
Museum of Transport
and Technology
project: Aviation Display Hall development
Museum of Wellington
City & Sea
exhibition: Death and Diversity
New Zealand Historic Places Trust project: Pompallier Mission
& Fyffe House interpretation
Te Manawa Museums Trust project: Te Manawa development
Waikato Museum project: temporary exhibition wall fabrication system
Waikato Museum exhibition: Red, Yellow, (All) Black
Whangarei Art Museum
Te Manawa Toi
project: Whangarei Art Museum
Relocation/Rebrand

News Update 4 April 2012

Following media coverage of their staff structure late last year, Canterbury Museum has been working on re-defining staff roles, which has included some redundancies and several new positions which were advertised by MA earlier this year. Three key appointments have recently been announced. Lesley Colsell, previously General Manager Museum Programmes and former Chair of MA, is now Canterbury’s first Museum Best Practice Manager. Sarah Gordon will begin as Communications Manager after Easter, and Carmen Marsh will take up a fixed term position as Projects Office Manager later in April.

There are many exciting opportunities coming up for professional development, promoting your museum or gallery, and being involved in wider networks. These include our own MA12 conference as well as lectures and workshops with visiting speakers and other experts on subjects such as medallic management, arts access, exhibition lighting and audience engagement. Detailed listings and links follow below.

MA12 conference – REGISTRATION CLOSES 10 APRIL
We’re looking forward to seeing many of you in Wellington for MA12 and the Awards during the week 17-20 April. You can still register up until 10 April. For those who aren’t able to come to MA12, there will be reports on our website and a bumper conference/awards issue of MAQuarterly in early May.

Inaugural TelstraClear Museums Aotearoa Lecture – Tuesday 17 April
The first of this new annual lecture series will be presented with support from TelstraClear. Jock Philips is well known to many through his work with Te Papa, Te Ara and most recently for his ‘Insider’ blogs during the RWC 2011 ‘Real NZ’ festival. The lecture is at 6pm on Tuesday 17 April at Te Papa. This public event is free to attend, please RSVP to secure your seat, contact Museums Aotearoa by email or telephone (04) 499 1313.

AGM – Thursday 19 April
Reminder – the 2012 Annual General Meeting of Museums Aotearoa will be held at Te Papa, at 12 noon on Thursday 19 April. There will be a Board vacancy for one Individual member: Jenny Harper will complete her first term on the Board, and is standing for re-election. The notice of meeting, draft agenda and voting information are in the members area of our website here, and hard copies have been posted to Individual members. If you wish to appoint a proxy for voting at the AGM, please download and print the proxy form, or contact the MA office.

2012 Museum Awards
Congratulations to all finalists in the 2012 New Zealand Museum Awards. The judges had a hard time deciding the most deserving among all the outstanding achievements in the record number of entries received this year. Finalists will be celebrated and winners announced at a gala dinner at City Gallery Wellington on 19 April, now fully booked. See the finalists media release here and watch this space for the winners. The New Zealand Museum Awards programme is generously supported by Story Inc.

New membership benefits
MA membership invoices for 2012 fees have been sent out to all Museums, Individuals and Associates – thank you to those who have already responded. As we develop our services, the MA Board has been working on making membership benefits more accessible. A major change this year is that, as part of the entitlement of Museum membership, all staff will be able to receive direct communication and information by email from MA. Staff or volunteers at member museums who choose to take up the discounted $50 Individual membership will receive additional benefits: a personal MA membership card giving free entry and discounts at member museums, and hard copies of MA publications. These benefits are available to all current Individual and Associate members. For full details of membership entitlements, please visit the membership pages of our website.

We wish you a very happy Easter season. Now, back to all the last-minute conference details…

Nga mihi,
Phillipa and Sophie



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