Posts Tagged 'Christchurch Art Gallery'

News Update 5 February 2016

Kia ora

February already! Summer continues, cruise ships disgorge their passengers around the country, campervans are everywhere, and Chinese New Year holiday visitors are arriving. With school back this week, we’re getting into the year’s activities.

Opening this week is the new Waitangi Museum and long-awaited reopening of Christchurch Art Gallery, followed the week after by CoCA. Very different in origins and aims, the Waitangi and Christchurch openings are all encouraging signs that the value of museums to their various communities is being understood and supported.

MA and Local Government NZ are currently working on bringing together a range of voices and data to help quantify and articulate this value. Several recent and current initiatives are relevant.

This week Te Papa hosted an Australasian Visitor Research Forum, a day in which about 50 people from museums, galleries, zoos, outdoor amenities, universities and research agencies gathered to share perspectives and experience on understanding visitors.  Similar annual forums have been recently in Australia, and this is the first time in Aotearoa.  It is hoped that some of the presentations can be shared more widely, and that this dialogue continues, especially linking research and theory to practice in museums.

Another theory/practice symposium in Wellington this week explored research into intercultural dialogue and understanding generated through international exhibition exchange. Dr Lee Davidson (Vicotria University of Wellington) and her colleague Leticia Perez from Mexico have interviewed both visitors and museum staff involved in two touring shows in several countries: ‘E Tu Ake’ in Mexico, Quebec, Paris and Te Papa; and ‘Aztecs’ in Mexico, Te Papa, Melbourne and Sydney. The symposium was an excellent opportunity for some of those involved to share in the preliminary findings and extend the discussion into the broader area of cultural diplomacy. Such cross-disciplinary conversations are vital to encourage critical and innovative thinking and bring new energy into museum practice.

The importance of robust data to provide evidence of our work, especially to funders, came through in both these forums.  MA is running our National Visitor Survey this month, and we encourage all museums and galleries to participate. The standardised methodology offers statistically reliable data to participating museums, which can then be used and viewed against the national aggregate.  This annual snapshot provides vital baseline information to complement local data such as total visitation and qualitative feedback on exhibitions. It was referred to by several presenters at the Visitor Research Forum.

Information about the National Visitor Survey can be found here or by contacting survey@museumsaotearoa.org.nz. We are looking for volunteers to help with interviewing across the country, and encourage staff – especially management – to take a turn as well.  It’s amazing what insights you can get from talking directly to visitors. Talei and I are looking forward to helping out in some museums and galleries locally.

Back in the office its full steam ahead with MA16 conference and the 2016 ServiceIQ NZ Museum Awards.

Ngā mihi

Phillipa and Talei

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News Update 6 August, 2015

Kia ora

After the excitement of opening the Len Lye Centre, it’s disappointing to see that the reopening of Christchurch Art Gallery looks like being delayed until 2016.

There is also gloomy news on the economy, with record low dairy payout and falling exchange rate causing concern. A briefing by BERL Chief Economist Ganesh Nana this week advised caution, but did note the positive effect of a lower exchange rate on international tourism. I don’t expect any easing of the budget pressure on our sector in the foreseeable future! So we need to make sure our funders know how vital we are to tourism and well as local communities. MA is working on tools and data to support advocacy, and you can see the video of Dr Nana’s presentation on Value to MA14 here.

MA staff and Board members are busy this month with our regional meetings. The first two hosted by the Dowse and Aratoi have heard of some interesting new projects and participants have had really engaged debates on ethical matters. The workshops have shown that the same ethical scenario can have very different implications depending on the particular organisation and the individuals involved – especially when it comes to conflicts of interest.

We are enjoying the opportunity to talk to members at these meetings, and hear about what’s currently top priority or biggest concern.  Even if you can’t make it to a meeting, we’re always keen to hear from you.

Ngā mihi

Phillipa and Talei

News Update 21 July, 2015

Kia ora

MA regional meetings are being held from late July to early September. These are an opportunity to meet up with colleagues, visit other museums, share latest ideas and explore the practicalities of the MA Code of Ethics in a friendly and supportive workshop session. See here for dates and locations.

This week the UK Museums Association has released it’s draft revised Code of Ethics.
Like our own CoE, it is principle-based, and is intended to help museums and those who work in them to make informed decisions, and to provide guidance on professional practice.

There’s lots of professional development and networking activity coming up around the country in the next couple of months. As well as our MA regional forums, there are NDF BarcampsRegional Tourism Summits, and several conferences – see new listings below and details on our website.

And while we’re talking about networking and collaboration, news is out about a new approach to collecting – Christchurch Art Gallery and Dunedin Public Art Gallery have jointly purchased a major work by Shane Cotton. ‘Haymaker Series I-V’ will be previewed at DPAG on 30 July, then co-owned and displayed by the two galleries. Maybe the ‘distributed national collection’ concept is coming of age?
wellington

With the school holidays over, there are some special events coming up to enliven the winter. This weekend Wellington celebrates its 150th anniversary, as the capital, with a wide range of museum activities. You can draw a City Councillor at the Portrait Gallery, take a sneak peak at Wellington Museum’s new Attic space, see a light and sound show at Old St Paul’s, and go on Open House tours at the City Gallery and Te Papa.

Len Lye

And best wishes to the Govett-Brewster team as you count down to the opening on the Len Lye Centre this weekend – we love all the shiny photos already appearing on Facebook and Twitter.

Ngā mihi

Phillipa and Talei

News Update 21 May 2013

Kia Ora,

Phillipa has spent the last few days in Canberra at the Museums Australia conference. She and a small contingent of kiwis presented papers – Jenny Harper from Christchurch Art Gallery, and Nicola Railton, Bernard Makoare and Megan McSweeney from Auckland Museum. The conference was three full days in Canberra’s bright cold early winter. Coinciding not only with International Museum Day, but also Canberra’s centennial and the final days of the Australian National Museum’s Andrew Sayers’ term as President of the Museums Australia National Council, it brought together a showcase of Australia’s national institutions with around 500 delegates from across the country.

Delegates enjoy the lunchtime sun – up to 13C after frosts for the last 3 nights

Delegates enjoy the lunchtime sun – up to 13C after frosts for the last 3 nights

The Museums Australia Multimedia and Publication Design Awards (MAPDA) 2013 included several successful New Zealand entries. Congratulations to Dunedin Public Art Gallery, winner of their website category, Te Papa joint winner for Buller’s Birds, and Christchurch Art Gallery, highly commended for their Bulletin. Overall, the conference was a great experience, and Phillipa is coming home with new ideas and opportunities for more trans-Tasman collaborations.

The Museum of Wellington City & Sea made international news in last week’s list of the World’s 50 Best Museums nominated by a ‘panel of experts’ for The Times (UK). Ranking number 41 in such illustrious company is pretty good going – congratulations to all who sail in her. It’s also good to see that the Dominion Post picked up the story here. No NZ art museums made the previous week’s list of the World’s 50 greatest galleries (article put online by the Yale Centre for British art, no.15). The closest is the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne (no.46) and the list is topped by the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Museum sector research
Our research programme continues, which we see as a vital contribution to advocacy and resources for our members and for the sector. There is currently a range of data collection by MA and other organisations:

The 2013 Museum Sector Remuneration Survey is being prepared by Strategic Pay. Museums with paid staff will be receiving an invitation to participate soon – it costs nothing to enter your data and the more museums included the more complete and robust the information. There is a charge for the full report, which ranges from $195 to $700 for participating museums, depending on size.

A new association membership survey is being administered by Survey Matters. All paid individual members should have received an invitation to participate in this Australasia-wide survey – thank you to those who have already completed it.
The annual Visitor Survey is complete and participating museums have been sent their clean data. We will be publishing a summary of this year’s survey very soon.

The 2012 Sector Survey report and executive summary are available for download here. In the coming months we plan to prepare a ‘prettier’ publication summarising the key findings for more general use, and will be looking at the best way to continue this vital research on a regular basis.
International research can also help us to advocate here. The Arts Council England has just released a comprehensive independent research report on The contribution of the arts and culture to the national economy, which quantifies the actual economic and value-added contribution, as well as the ‘spillover’ effects of a vibrant cultural community.

And lastly a reminder that MA members are invited to comment on the revised Code of Ethics 2013 by 14 June 2013.

Nga mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

News Update 17 April 2013

Kia ora,

Whew!  We’re back in the office in damp Wellington after a wonderful time in Hamilton.  The sun shone, our Waikato hosts were generous and welcoming, and it seems a good time was had by all.  We thank all the conference presenters and participants, and particularly the 200+ delegates – without your attendance and enthusiasm, there would be no conference.

2013-04 MA13 banner pic SM

We congratulate all the 2013 NZ Museum Awards entrants, finalists and of course the winners: Auckland Museum, Christchurch Art Gallery, the Fashion Museum, The Kauri Museum and Toitu Otago Settlers Museum. These are great examples of excellence and innovation.

At the awards celebration dinner we were delighted to announce a new professional development grant in partnership with the Asia New Zealand Foundation – see our website. We also acknowledged Finn McCahon-Jones, winner of The Clark Collection Scholarship for 2013.  Finn is Associate Curator, Applied Arts & Design at Auckland Museum.  The scholarship is supported by National Services Te Paerangi, and Finn will travel to the UK to attend the Attingham Summer School and visit other organisations in England.

We have conference and awards photos up on Facebook, where you’re welcome to tag and comment. An email link to the post-conference survey will be sent out later this week.  We are very keen to hear your feedback and ideas for MA14 in Hawke’s Bay!

Last week we also held the 2012 Museums Aotearoa AGM in Hamilton. Here is a brief summary:
– the 2012 Annual Report was presented orally – it will be printed and mailed out with the next MAQ in May
– the 2102 Financial Accounts can be downloaded from our website here
– the 2012 museum sector survey results can be downloaded as Executive Summary or the full 2012 Sector Survey Report
– the revised Code of Ethics was endorsed, subject to consideration of any further comments from members by the Board at its next meeting (date mid-May tbc)

The result of the MA Board election is:
– Therese Angelo (Museum) – re-elected, Chair
– Tryphena Cracknell (Kaitiaki) – elected
– Eric Dorfman (Museum) – re-elected
– Jenny Harper (Individual) – second term continues
– Brett Mason (Individual) – elected (first term)
– Rhonda Paku (Museum) – elected (first term)

We haven’t had time to keep up with the museum and gallery news around the country over the past week, so we’ll be back with that and other events next week. In the mean time we’ve updated the opportunities, links and notices below.

Nga mihi, Phillipa, Talei and the MA13 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 26 July 2011

Last week I visited Christchurch for the first time since January – and since the most devastating earthquakes. Walking around the barriers around unstable buildings and outside the central city cordon, I was just one of a number of onlookers. Some like me were seeing things for the first time, others were locals, all trying to get a sense of the scale of the disaster and what is happening in the recovery efforts. It was very sad to see so much damage, shops and businesses, museums and galleries closed to the public, and the city so quiet.

However, there are encouraging signs of new energy and momentum. Despite continuing aftershocks, teams of people are repairing, planning and rebuilding all over the city. Cafes are re-opening, parking fees reinstated, and there was even a busker outside Canterbury Museum playing to the trickle of workers and tourists walking past. His recorder music – ranging from ‘La vie en Rose’ to ‘Favourite Things’ – was hauntingly appropriate in the grey winter afternoon.

Canterbury Museum – fenced in (July 2011)

While many museums and galleries are still closed lots is happening. Canterbury Museum is planning to re-open on 1 September. They are working hard on sorting out collections, installing exhibitions and dusting off the galleries to welcome the public back with several new shows.

Christchurch Art Gallery will have to wait until the council and CERA staff move out, an unstable neighbouring apartment block is demolished and various repairs are made to the building, all of which is likely to take until the end of the year. In the mean time they are very busy with collection work and off-site projects. CAG staff post regular news updates online, and their ‘Bunker Notes’ blog is both whimsical and informative http://christchurchartgallery.org.nz/news/

current ‘exhibitions’ at Christchurch Art Gallery (July 2011)

The second annual museum sector Remuneration Survey is now underway. Strategic Pay’s survey team has been contacting museums and galleries to invite you to particpate – which also qualifies you for a discount on the price of the report. Following feedback from 2010, some minor adjustments were made to the list of museum-specific positions. Strategic Pay will also be liaising with local councils where appropriate, as all councils now subscribe to their biannual Local Government Survey. The first museum sector survey provided excellent data as well as an overview of remuneration practices in the sector. With more participants and cumulative data, this will become an even more useful tool for museums and for our advocacy on behalf of the sector – I encourage every museum and gallery to take part. You can contact Strategic Pay on 09 303 3045 or surveys@strategicpay.co.nz

While UK textile historian Annabel Westman was here for the MA11 conference earlier this year, she recorded an interview with Radio NZ. It was broadcast on The Arts on Sunday on 24 July, and you can listen to it here.

In the UK, the latest round of funding cuts is biting deeply. The Museums Association has conducted a survey, The Impact Of Cuts On UK Museums, which reveals that one-fifth of UK museums have had cuts of 25% or more. Of those:

•over 60% have cut back their public events
•half have reduced opening hours
•over 85% have cut staff
The MA also reports that over 40% of local authority museums have cut paid staff by 10% or more in the last year. The report can be downloaded here.

I hope to see many of you at the museums and galleries session which is part of the Diversity Forum in Hamilton on 22 August. This promises to be an inspiring and interactive forum exploring diversity in programming and audiences, with a focus on engaging youth. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet and talk with colleagues from other museums and galleries. You can download the flyer and registration information here.

Nga mihi,

Phillipa


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