Save our gallery
Art lovers unite to campaign for the Auckland Art Gallery.
Funding cuts threaten Auckland Art Gallery
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki won a World Architecture Award when it opened in 2011, after a multi-year refit designed by FJMT and Archimedia. It ignited something in the city: finally, Auckland had a gallery of which to be proud. The gallery is beautiful and a runaway success: 500,000 people a year visit and it attracts world-beating contemporary shows – Yayoi Kusama’s The Obliteration Room is just finishing up, and Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto (a 13-channel film starring Cate Blanchett – see p.24 for more) opens on February 24. That it does so amid a crisis of funding is all the more remarkable. Since 2011, Auckland Council has reduced the gallery’s operating budget from $9.2 million to $6.8 million, including a $1.1 million cut last year. It now operates with the same budget as it did 10 years ago – only the new building has 50 per cent more exhibition space. (Auckland Museum, by contrast, receives $30 million, funding protected by an act of parliament.) Over the next few months, key decisions will be made about the gallery’s future, including whether it will stay open seven days a week and whether it can continue to run key programmes including children’s education. In despair, art lovers have established Save Our Gallery, a campaign calling on Auckland Council to increase funding. Members of the public can get involved by signing up online and by posting on Instagram at #saveourgallery. We urge you to do so.
To be part of the campaign, download the ‘pART’ imagery shown here and post your own message to Auckland Council on social media.