Save our gallery

Art lovers unite to cam­paign for the Auck­land Art Gallery.

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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.

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