Posts Tagged 'Walters Prize'

News Update 30 September 2014

Kia ora

Its great to see some really good news stories about museums and galleries recently in amongst the war, crime and election results making headlines. MOTAT was on Saturday’s TV One news as well as the Herald as it celebrates 50 years with new exhibits and a new strategy. And it seems that everyone loves a good slimy squid story – especially on video!

Young Theo experiments with Motat’s new ‘Welcome to the Machine’ exhibition. Photo / Mark Wardle

Last Friday the winner of the biennial Walters Prize was announced at Auckland Art Gallery – international judge Charles Esche was interviewed by Lyn Freeman on Radio NZ’s Standing Room Only, along with winning artist Luke Willis Thompson. Freeman also interviewed Simon Denny, Walters Prize finalist and artist selected to represent NZ at the 2016 Venice Biennale, whose show The Personal Effects of Kim Dotcom opens at the Adam Art Gallery this Friday.

The news was mixed for Museum of Wellington City and Sea, when they announced that the ‘key to the city’ of Wellington had been stolen from its display case – but the story turned out well when it was anonymously returned to Wellington Police. Also mixed exposure for Waitangi National Trust in the papers and TV3 drawing comments from PM John Key and local MP Kelvin Davis with the introduction of a $15 entry fee for New Zealanders after the fee was dropped in 2008.

On the down side, the Ashburton museum and gallery building is in the news again with its budget blowout and parking disputes between council and residents – another example of conflicting local interests getting in the way of what should be a positive community amentity.

And congratulations to Canterbury Museum, winner of the Tourism/Hospitality (medium/large enterprise) category at the 2014 Champion Canterbury Business Awards , just ahead of the Air Force Museum – Vbase partnership.

After serving for 32 years, Mike Taylor has retired from the staff and management committee of Picton Heritage & Whaling Museum.  The new Manager is Alison Hinkley, and the new President of Picton Historical Society is Jon Perano.  The Society reports they are in good heart and moving forward with new displays and looking forward to a busy cruise-ship season.TripAdvisor has named Te Papa best in the South Pacific, and Auckland Museum 2nd – ahead of all the Australian museums. Eight other New Zealand museums feature in the list, giving us 40% of the the top 25, with only 20% of Australia’s population and 15% of its GDP.

Last week saw about 40 people from a wide range of organisations meeting for ICOM NZ‘s conference at Auckland Museum, joined by a number of museum staff for many sessions. The theme of Pacific Connections: Culture, Connections, Museums and Research produced a varied and engaging 2-day programme.  The eye-opener for many was a sobering presentation about the reality of Pacific Islanders’ position in Auckland society by Damon Salesa, Associate Professor of Pacific Studies at The University of Auckland, and the first person of  Pacific Island descent to become a Rhodes scholar to Oxford. With humour and empathy, Damon explained the disengagement of Pasifika from mainstream economy, education and political power, and offered some insights into how some of these disadvantages and injustices might be addressed by museums. Thanks to hosts Auckland Museum, and the organisers, especially Jane Legget, for all the hard work that went into the conference.

Jonathan Mane-Wheoki and Roy Clare

Another highlight for those who stayed for the Museum Medals event at Auckland Museum on 23 September was the presentation of awards to some special colleagues. Linda Tyler and Margaret Morley were made Associate Emerita of the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Jonathan Mane-Wheoki and Dame Cheryll Sotheran were made a Companion of the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which recognises achievement or contribution to areas relevant to, or in some way connected to, the public service of Auckland Museum or other New Zealand museums. We applaud their well-deserved recognition.

Attending the ICOM conference and staying on to visit Wellington was Professor Dr Hans-Martin Hinz, President of ICOM international. His conference keynote explained the background of Germany’s colonial activity in the Pacific and its end because of WW1. Dr Hinz also gave a well-attended presentation about cultural objects at risk, hosted by NSTP at Te Papa last week.

We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at our regional meetings in the next two months, with the first at Waitomo tomorrow.  We’re also excited by the lineup of speakers for this year’s National Digital Forum conference, 25-26 November at Te Papa. You have until 5pm today (30 September) to apply for a registration bursary from MA.

If you’re in Wellington next Wednesday, 8 October, we recommend the Awesome Arts Access Auction. This is both fun and a terrific cause, we hope to see many friends and supporters there.

Mauriora,
Nā Phillipa māua ko Talei

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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

Kia ora

Check out the latest batch of museum news that has been uploaded today, online here (you need to be logged in to the members’ area to view). This is currently online as a downloadable PDF, index will follow shortly.

Another busy fortnight, and we’ve been out and about. Both Sophie and I visited Auckland privately, and squeezed in some museum visiting while we were there. I had a quick look at the Walters Prize exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery, and visited the new home of the Wallace Arts Trust, the TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre at Pah Homestead, where finalists in the 2010 Wallace Art Awards are on show until 3 October before travelling to TheNewDowse (opening 22 October). While we await the announcement of the Walters Prize on 8 October, interviews with the four finalists can be found online here and you can also vote for the ‘Peoples Choice’.

Last week I spent a very enjoyable 2 days in the Far North with the Northland Museums Association. Heritage Kaikohe hosted the meeting, and treated some 40 visitors to train rides as well as warm hospitality and a cosy fire. Serious discussion of museum strategies, national and local issues took up most of Friday, with a little time for local politics as well. The NMA is made up of a wide variety of museums, from the council-owned Whangarei Art Museum, to the independent Kauri Museum, and volunteer-run Hokianga Historical Society (Omapere). They span tourist areas such as Russell and country towns like Kaikohe.

It was sad to hear about Omapere having to move their collections into containers after the building they shared with the i-Site was declared unsafe, although Alexa tells me they have now been offered space at the local school. We wish Far North Regional Museum all the best as they negotiate their way forward as part of the Te Ahu complex, Shirley and friends at the Jack Morgan a successful opening and a well-deserved breather, and Mangawhai Museum success in raising funds to put a roof on top of their newly-built walls and floor. All in the NMA show great enterprise and enthusiasm. Best wishes also to Scott as Chair, Eileen as secretary, and Lynda for her work as out-going secretary. And a big thank-you to all the folk at Heritage Kaikohe for their hospitality, especially Ian, Heather and Trevor.

NMA members take the Heritage Kaikohe train, driven by Trevor Bedggood (photo: Don Hammond/Far North Regional Museum)

I have also been out and about as a ‘lay’ juror for the Wellington branch NZ Institute of Architecture Awards. I’ve seen some really inspiring spaces, both public and private. This has afforded a fascinating insight into how awards work from the selectors’ perspective – very timely as we begin work on growing the Museum Awards for 2011. Watch out for notice of criteria and entry opportunities before the end of the year.

With the school holidays now underway, many museums will be busy with holiday programmes and lots of families visiting. And Auckland is in the thick of its Heritage Festival, with lots of museums and galleries taking part. The festival runs from 18 September to 3 October, click here for details. Further south the biannual Otago Festival of the Arts is coming up 8-17 October, including theatre performances at Otago Settlers Museum and exhibitions at Dunedin Public Art Gallery as well as lots of other dance, theatre and music events. We hope you all have lots of visitors and lots of fun.

Nga mihi,

Phillipa and Sophie

PS – don’t forget to vote for your local mayor and council!

“No one can be forced to vote. However, it’s vitally important that those of us who can, make the effort to do so, even if it only goes so far as reading the voter’s guide that comes with your voting paper before deciding whose name to put a tick beside. If nothing else, to most people’s minds, anyone who chooses not to vote also loses their mandate to complain over the next three years when decisions are made which they do not agree with.”
(Race to be mayor springs into life, Bay of Plenty Times, 25 September 2010)

Ian Wards, Phillipa Tocker, Heather Ayrton and Ian Day at Heritage Kaikohe (photo: Don Hammond/Far North Regional Museum)


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