Pataka earn­ing praise as the model mu­seum

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Pataka Art + Mu­seum is be­ing held up around the Wellington re­gion as the model of a suc­cess­ful mu­seum.

Hutt City coun­cil­lors re­cently crit­i­cised the man­age­ment of the Dowse Art Mu­seum and pointed out that Pataka, with fewer staff and on a smaller bud­get, at­tracted more vis­i­tors.

Coun­cil­lor Tui Lewis said Pataka at­tracted vis­i­tors by mak­ing art vis­i­ble from the neigh­bour­ing li­brary, meet­ing rooms, and shop and cafe.

Pataka’s di­rec­tor, He­len Ked­g­ley, did not want to com­ment on re­cent crit­i­cism of Dowse and pre­ferred to cel­e­brate how well Porirua’s ‘‘cul­tural hub’’ was far­ing.

‘‘On the whole they are do­ing their best at the Dowse and we work with them as part of a col­lab­o­ra­tive strat­egy for the re­gion,’’ she said.

Ked­g­ley said se­cur­ing ex­cit­ing exhibitions at Pataka and be­ing able to hold com­mu­nity meet­ings and events such as tai chi in the spine all added to the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Vis­i­tor num­bers in the last 12 months were a tick over 285,000, with 50 per cent of those from out­side Porirua.

Those fig­ures rep­re­sent a steady rise up­wards.

A re­cent na­tion­wide survey gave Pataka a 91 per cent sat­is­fac­tion rate and an 81 per cent re­peat vis­i­tor rate, she said.

‘‘We’re small com­pared to other gal­leries and mu­se­ums, and we have a small bud­get, but our team cre­ate a vi­brant at­mos­phere.

‘‘We’re very happy with how things are go­ing.’’

The Bot­tle Creek Gallery was set aside for Porirua artists to ex­hibit.

It was im­por­tant to bal­ance lo­cal artists with na­tional and in­ter­na­tional exhibitions, Ked­g­ley said.

She also said it was im­por­tant to cel­e­brate his­tory along­side art, and the city’s 50th birth­day and World War I com­mem­o­ra­tions next year would be two ex­am­ples of that.

He­len Ked­g­ley: Pleased with attendance num­bers.

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