Shakeup at arts venue sad for cre­ative ‘family’

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

The re­struc­ture of Art­sta­tion is still re­ceiv­ing mixed re­views as work gets un­der way.

The Pon­sonby Rd cre­ative in­sti­tu­tion has come in for a shake-up af­ter years of op­er­at­ing at a loss.

The Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board, which is re­spon­si­ble for de­ter­min­ing its use and func­tion, sought a re­view to iden­tify how it could run more ef­fec­tively.

From next year Art­sta­tion will of­fer tu­ition in mu­sic, dig­i­tal me­dia, per­for­mance and writ­ing to com­ple­ment its 30-year his­tory of of­fer­ing visual arts.

But changes to the build­ing it­self mean fa­cil­i­ties such as dark­room print­ing have been cut from the pro­gramme.

Meighan El­lis has taught pho­tog­ra­phy classes at Art­sta­tion for the past two years.

She agrees change was needed but says the loss of a num­ber of com­mit­ted prac­ti­tion­ers and teach­ers is sad.

‘‘The ca­sual teach­ing staff were more than col­leagues. They were a family with some very tal­ented artists teach­ing at this unique fa­cil­ity for over 20 years with a fol­low­ing of re­turn­ing, loyal stu­dents each term and each year,’’ she says.

Nga Ran­gatahi Toa Cre­ative Arts Ini­tia­tive cre­ative di­rec­tor Sarah Long­bot­tom hopes the changes will get more peo­ple through Art­sta­tion’s doors.

In the new lay­out, shared and in­di­vid­ual stu­dios can now be hired, as can four new gallery spa­ces, which will be re­lo­cated to the ground floor.

‘‘We’re ex­cited to see it be­come a real com­mu­nity space,’’ Ms Long­bot­tom says.

‘‘Mov­ing the gal­leries to the ground floor will give Art­sta­tion a lot more scope to do that.’’

The changes are aimed at help- ing the in­sti­tu­tion op­er­ate within its bud­get, Auck­land Coun­cil arts and cul­ture man­ager Kaye Gla­muz­ina says.

The build­ing is closed for clean­ing and re­or­gan­i­sa­tion un­til Fe­bru­ary.

Book­ings are now open for the first term’s pro­gramme.

New look: Pon­sonby Rd’s Art­sta­tion is be­ing re­vamped ahead of next year’s classes.

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