Porirua ratepayers gifted a McCahon
Porirua residents will see nearly all of the city’s art and heritage collection in a massive exhibition this year, including perhaps its most expensive painting.
A piece from Colin McCahon’s 1975 Clouds series was bequeathed to the city by a longtime council employee, who recently died.
Pataka director Reuben Friend said it had not been valued but was believed to be worth more than $100,000.
‘‘This was a very generous gift and really adds something to our collection,’’ he said.
‘‘It was possibly bought for a few thousand dollars many years ago and McCahon’s work has great value and interest today.’’
A recent Fairfax NZ article reported that New Zealand ratepayers own half a billion dollars worth of art, but only about 7 per cent of it is on show.
Hutt City owns 3181 pieces, valued at $13m, but just 1 per cent is seen by the public.
Friend said it was hard to give exact numbers, but he was certain ‘‘most’’ of Pataka’s art collection was in the public eye.
‘‘We have significant works in the gallery and sculptures in [Pataka’s] spine right now.
‘‘There are pieces in the council buildings, council reception, staff and mayoral offices and waiting rooms - it’s there and we try and move things around as often as we can.
‘‘Sculptures outside Te Rauparaha Arena and in the city centre that people walk past without noticing were carried out by significant artists.’’
He estimated about a quarter of Pataka’s collection was art, the rest being historical and heritage pieces.
As a project was nearly under way to expand Pataka’s storage facility, there was an upcoming opportunity for people to see almost all of the council’s 22,000-piece art and heritage col- lection.
‘‘It’s going to be a tight fit but we’re thinking about June we’re going to have pretty much everything out on show.’’
Council has an acquisitions budget of $20,000.
Chairwoman of Porirua Community Arts Council Judy McKoy said art was very accessible in Porirua.
‘‘I recently had a tour around the city’s [outdoor] artworks and it’s astonishing what we have.
‘‘It’s wonderful and there is an active community of people who are highly engaged and have their own styles.’’
A work by Sam Foley, which hangs in one of the council offices.