Pataka upgrade helps keep it fresh
With visitor numbers at an alltime high, Pataka Museum of Arts and Culture is in the process of undergoing a facelift.
Pataka director Helen Kedgley said that though the museum would not be expanding, it was time for a freshen up.
‘‘It is now 15 years old, so we are in the process of trying to regenerate and upgrade the building. It’s an excellent complex, but it does need upgrading,’’ she said.
Kedgley said the visitor numbers were at about 280,000 a year and the plan was for them to continue to grow.
‘‘We remain the leading gallery in New Zealand for exhibitions of contemporary Maori and Pacific art.
‘‘We have managed to find a creative niche for ourselves that resonates with the community and we produce a range of cuttingedge exhibitions of contemporary Maori and Pacific and New Zealand art.
‘‘Our visitor numbers suggest that the community and people are responding very well to what we do.’’
Though some have questioned the balance of art and history at Pataka, Kedgley said it was a swings and roundabouts situation. ‘‘We try to find a balance. ‘‘Sometimes there will be more history and sometimes more contemporary art, but we do have a restriction on budget.
‘‘We have covered most aspects of the city from a history and social history aspect and we will continue to do so.’’
Kedgley said the idea of a permanent history exhibition was not out of the question.
‘‘The problem with that is one of the things people like about Pataka is there is always something new and fresh.
‘‘It’s the balance of keeping it fresh and interesting with new things, and having something that is permanent.’’
Part of the recent direction of Pataka was putting aside competition with other Wellington museums and galleries, and instead working together.
‘‘ In the last year we’ve all started working together and become very collaborative,’’ Kedgley said.
‘‘We are trying to ensure that the museums and art galleries in the region enhance each other.’’
Kedgley cited Art Night, when free buses took visitors from City Gallery in Wellington to Pataka and to the Dowse and Expressions in the Hutt Valley as an example of fruitful collaboration.
Thinking ahead: Helen Kedgley is overseeing a facelift for Pataka Museum.