Posts Tagged 'Auckland Art Gallery'

News & Notices – 8 May, 2014

Kia Ora,

Last week I was in Auckland for a workshop convened by Creative NZ as the first step in a review of the visual arts and craft/object artform categories. Around 30 people, including curators, directors, artists, educators and promoters, spent two days looking at what and how Creative NZ supports in craft/object and visual arts. We talked about how that fits into the wider ‘ecology’ of support for the arts, and what challenges, changes and priorities need to be considered over the next five years. CNZ staff will now distill all that discussion into draft reports which will be published online in early June. I encourage you to take the opportunity to provide feedback when the draft reports come out, as this will then inform the final reports and recommendations to the Arts Council in July.

While in Auckland I only managed to fit in one museum visit – to Auckland Art Gallery. I found My Country: Contemporary Art from Black Australia to be very interesting. I really enjoyed seeing the wide range of visitors to this touring exhibition from QAGOMA, including both children and adults having fun with Gordon Hookey’s Kangaroo Crew. This is an interactive for the 21st century, with hands-on activities as well as a series of retro-flavoured video game consoles, all based on a salutary tale of The Sacred Hill. There has been good media reporting and information coming out about the many other intriguing exhibitions and programmes around the country during the school holidays and around ANZAC weekend. I hope they were all as engaging and well-attended as My Country.

Also in Auckland, Lopdell House Gallery is rebranding. When the new gallery alongside the refurbished Lopdell House opens in the spring, it will be called Te Uru, or Te Hau a uru, referring to the west wind that ‘brings change, sets direction and influences the city of Auckland’.

Back in Wellington, the news is full of Mike Houlihan’s appointment as Special Adviser on Military Heritage at MCH. As Mike will not be returning to Te Papa, Arapata Hakiwai will take over as Acting CE while ‘an international search for a new Chief Executive is undertaken’.

One of our ongoing activities is research. This year’s National Visitor Survey is now complete, and participants can access their own and national data. We are preparing a visual similar to last year and it is interesting to see that the data is very similar. In June, a Victoria University museum studies student will be doing more research as a course placement. Lillian Bayly-McCredie will be looking into governance structures and how they impact on museums and galleries. Later in the year we will be reviewing and repeating the sector survey.

Statistics NZ is progressively releasing data from the 2013 census, such as Quickstats about culture and identity. As well as providing access to data tables for the serious analyst, they are producing really nice graphics which make it easy to understand. A new infographic on major ethnic groups shows 74% European, which is very close to the ethnicity of NZ-resident visitors in this year’s National Visitor Survey. Maori and Pacific Island visitor numbers however, are lower in our survey than the general population. On the 27th May another culture and identity module comes out which will be the first chance to access detailed ethnicity, birthplace, language, religion, and iwi data down to subnational levels. Check out who your potential local audience is and see how it matches up to your visitor data – who is coming and who is missing out? To find out how you can use this data, Statistics NZ is running a series of free public seminars around the country from late May to late June.

International Museums day is the 18th May with the theme ‘Museum Collections Make Connections’. MA will be sending out a press release to promote the sector and many museums around the country have special plans to mark the occasion. Our EMP group here in Wellington are even planning their first ‘Museum Hack’ tour to celebrate. Check out the ICOM webpage to find out what museums around the world are doing and the ICOM NZ webpage for a great list of ways your museum can get involved.

Ngā mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

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Remembering Rodney Wilson

It is with sadness and respect that we acknowledge the passing of Dr T L Rodney Wilson on 27 April 2013. Rodney was a leader in the museum profession in this country and well known and respected internationally.  He lead many of our museums and galleries, was founding director of Auckland’s National Maritime Museum, retired after 14 years as Director of Auckland War Memorial Museum in 2007, and was made a Fellow of Museums Aotearoa.

 

Rodney Wilson, 2008

Rodney Wilson accepting Fellowship of Museums Aotearoa, April 2008

Rodney’s contribution went far beyond the institutions he worked in.  He was a consultant and advisor to other museums and organisations, including Dunedin City museums review, The Shore exhibition centre in Takapuna, the Army Museum Trust Board, Director of ATTTO, Governor of the Arts Foundation, served on the Museums Aotearoa Board from 2005-2007, as well as holding office with Museums Aotearoa predecessors AGMANZ and AGDC. His services to museum and art gallery administration earned him appointment as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2007.

As well as his professional achievements, Rodney will be remembered for his sparkling wit, strength of character, determination and passion – for boats, motorbikes, art, architecture, museums, people and living life to the full.

Rodney had been living with cancer for some time, and died peacefully at home. He will be farewelled in Auckland on Sunday 5 May. On behalf of Museums Aotearoa, I have sent aroha and sympathy to his wife Maureen and to his family.

Phillipa Tocker
Executive Director

Links to other articles:
Auckland Museum’s tribute (includes photos)
Cultural Icons (The Depot)
NZ Herald New Zealander of the Year 2006
Auckland Art Gallery blog (Ron Brownson)
Christchurch Art Gallery blog (Jenny Harper)

News Update 1 November 2012

Kia ora,

Recent weeks have seen news of a wide range of shows and activity around the country. Dunedin Public Art Gallery has staged music and ‘exhibition’ snooker, the Muka Youth Prints continue their annual tour, The Kauri Museum has planted 127 heritage roses and celebrated their 50th anniversary, and ‘yarn-bombers’ have given a new look to the statue of CJ Monro outside Te Manawa and the Rugby Museum. The Police Museum is getting international attention after one of its 100-year-old criminal mugshots went viral on social media as a ‘babe’. Waikato Museum is negotiating the tricky business of a Lindauer painting being revealed as a fake.

The famously good looking criminal from the Police Museum website.

Auckland has been celebrating Art Week with a huge number of events. The Walters Prize has been awarded to Kate Newby, whose winning work you can still catch at the Auckland Art Gallery until 11 November. Lopdell House has been hosting the 2012 Portage Ceramic Awards at The Cloud with Jim Cooper receiving the Premier Award.

Toitu Otago Settlers Museum is gearing up for re-opening in early December. Arrowtown has celebrated 150 years since the discovery of gold in fine style, with Lakes District Museum’s David Clarke and others growing beards for the occasion. Meanwhile, in Timaru, South Canterbury Museum’s Philip Howe has had his beard and hair shaved off for a child cancer fundraiser. We also note SCM’s ‘Downtown’ exhibition reported in the Timaru Herald, with photos of Timaru and Timaruvians as they used to be. We love the public toilets camouflaged with native plants for the royal visit in 1954!

Not fit for the Queen’s eyes? The men’s toilets on the corner of Strathallan and Stafford Streets, decorated for the visit of the Queen in Jan 1954.
South Canterbury Museum image, 2004/232.10

Work has begun on the new War Memorial Park in Wellington. The park is being built in preparation for New Zealand’s First World War Centenary (2014-2018) commemorations http://WW100.govt.nz/ and is due to be complete by Anzac Day 1915.  There has been speculation about what might be found during excavations for the park, and archaeologists and historian are looking forward to finding out.

War Memorial Park Turf Turning Ceremony on Monday in Wellington

In the political arena, rumbling continues over local government amalgamation, with a proposal for a ‘Lord Mayor’ for Wellington Region. The government’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill, which will pave the way for further mergers, has just been reported back by the Local Government and Environment Select Committee. The Committee was unable to agree that the bill be passed, and has only recommended amendments on which all committee members agreed. There was no agreement on changing the statutory purpose of local government, which would remove the ‘four well-beings’. The different party views are explained in the Select Committee Report. Apparently to counter some of the government’s changes to local government legislation around council responsibilities, costs and transparency, Labour is introducing 3 Member’s Bills, including one to prevent councils from charging for basic public library services. This bill is due to have its first reading in Parliament before the end of the year. LIANZA is supporting the bill with a ‘keep libraries free campaign’.

Directory of New Zealand Museums and Galleries 2013
All museums and associates should have received a copy of their entry to confirm their details. Thank you to those who have already sent their response. If you have not received your listing details please contact directory@museumsaotearoa.org.nz ASAP.

Museum Sector Survey out this month
A reminder that our sector survey is currently running until the end of this week. If your organisation has not yet not taken the time respond we would encourage you to do so. Whether you are a large organisation or a small volunteer run museum your participation is important as it will enable us to gain a thorough understanding of the sector and the issues that museums face, and it will ensure your organisation is included in the information available to help lobby the government for greater support and recognition of the sector. We are interested in understanding the diversity within the sector and the range of issues that museums and galleries face. Your contribution will help provide a more comprehensive and accurate picture of New Zealand’s museum sector.

If your organisation has not received an invitation by email, or you have any queries, please contact the MA office.

MA13: Hamilton, 10-12 April 2013
We are still looking for speakers for the MA13 conference. We would love to hear from you with any contributions, ideas and suggestions – all welcome! You can download this information as a pdf, and please telephone, email or come and visit us with your ideas.

For your online enjoyment, check out the wide range of museum Hallowen activities, especially on Facebook MOTAT, Puke Ariki, Whanganui Regional Museum. And we were intrigued with Mark Johnson’s technique of photographing time.

Nga mihi, Phillipa & Talei

News Update, 4 September 2012

Kia ora,

I had a lovely visit to the Dannevirke Gallery of History yesterday as I drove home from a long weekend away. I really enjoyed seeing and hearing about the intriguing treasures they have, and plans for telling more of the stories of the area, its history and its colourful characters.

News this week includes the Kauri Museum receiving a top Australian tourism award – the Grand Pacific favourite attraction for its Ultimate New Zealand tour. Coach tours are a major contributor to the Kauri Museum’s visitation, and its great to see they’re delivery the highest quality experience to those visitors.

From left to right: Stacia Morris – General Manager Grand Pacific Tours; Betty Nelley – CEO The Kauri Museum, Peter Harding – CEO Grand Pacific Tours

MOTAT is also in the running for more awards.  This year the Westpac Auckland Central Business Awards have drawn a record 111 entries, with 28 finalists announced last week. Entering for the first time, MOTAT has reached the final of both categories they entered: Excellence in Marketing Award (1 of 4 finalists) and Excellence in Service Delivery Award 1of 5 finalists).

Also in the news is Auckland Art Gallery’s pilot internship programme for high school media students, and the response has been very encouraging.

Prime Minister John Key gave a speech at Auckland Museum in praise of scientific innovation working with business to build economic success. The event was the launch of Sir Peter Gluckman’s report on the Royal Society’s Transit of Venus Forum held in Gisborne in June.

You can hear more about the issues around immunity from seizure, a topic on which MCH is currently seeking your views. The Arts on Sunday programme ran an interview last week with Dr Claudia Orange of Te Papa on this issue, and you can listen to it on the Radio NZ website.

Nga mihi,
Phillipa & Talei

PS – the Olympics may be over for 2012, but did you know that 100 years ago they included the arts, with medals awarded for painting, sculpture, architecture, music and literature from 1912 to 1948?

News Update 10 July 2012

Kia ora,

The last fortnight has seen more council planning and funding decisions reported, and more controversies. When resources are tight, there will always be some who see museums and galleries as soft targets for cuts – and unfortunately such decisions are often made in ignorance of – or in spite of – the consequences.

In Ashburton, objectors to the new museum/gallery project are staging a mini-version of the Auckland Art Gallery controversy, invoking the RMA and Environment Court. While the scale is rather different, the delay and wrangling will inevitably be costly in time, energy and dollars. Invercargill is also gripped with frustration over development plans for Southland Museum & Art Gallery, now calling for a ‘review’ of their proposed $24.6m project. In Auckland the final outcome has been even better than anticipated, and the Auckland Art Gallery has now carried off yet another prestigious architecture award, claiming one of the 12 international awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects. We can only hope that Ashburton and Invercargill come out of it all with great new facilities.

Further north, Marcus Boroughs is leaving Aratoi to be head of Public Programmes at Auckland Museum in the midst of very public stone-throwing at governance level, and now their Board Chair has stepped down as well. In Wellington the Museums Trust is under fire from its Maritime Friends for the Museum of Wellington deaccessioning a model of the Titanic. And announcements are finally being made of Te Papa’s new vision and structure.

The National Whale Centre has launched their Virtual Museumand blog this month. The creation of the National Whale Centre is the result of many years of research into the creation of a Picton Foreshore attraction which addresses the unique position of New Zealand as an ocean nation with a 172 plus years history of whaling and subsequent shift to more sustainable aquamarine industries and associated ecotourism ventures. You can see their site and blog here.

Statistics survey development
Accurate and detailed information is essential for planning and for advocacy. We have already mentioned that Museums Aotearoa is developing a comprehensive sector statistics project to gather and share data about museums and galleries around the country. This is taking shape now, and we expect to roll it out in August.

Staff moves
With the latest announcement that Cam McCracken will be taking over as Director of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and Marcus Boroughs departure from Aratoi, there are some interesting vacancies around the country. Alongside changes proposed at Te Papa and underway in other institutions, and a record number of vacancy advertisements coming through in the last few weeks, we are clearly in a period of ‘churn’. So for museum professionals looking to advance your career, now is the time to consider your options and look at taking on a new challenge.

Nga mihi,
Phillipa & Talei

Special update: more awards for Auckland Art Gallery

Congratulations to Auckland Art Gallery for winning the 2012 NZ Architecture Medal.  On top of its win in the NZ Museum Awards in April, the gallery’s architects FJMT and Archimedia took away the top honour in last Friday’s Resene NZ Institute of Architects Awards.  As well as the new development, Auckland Art Gallery won a heritage architecture award for Salmon Read Architects’ work on the old library building.

Congratulations also to MOTAT and Studio Pacific Architecture for their award in the environmental category for the aviation display hall. Its great to see galleries and museums getting recognition for their contribution to the built environment as well as the cultural and social.

See http://homenewzealand.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/new-zealand-architecture-medal-2012.html for some quotes on the night.

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

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