Auckland Art Gallery opening

The dawn blessing of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, 1 September 2011.
Image credit: Patrick Reynolds
The wait is finally over as Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki opens its doors on Saturday 3 September.

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The dawn blessing of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki was held on September 1, and included the unveiling of commissions by Arnold Manaaki Wilson, Fred Graham and Lonnie Hutchinson and opening of Toi Aotearoa, art from the New Zealand collection.

The dawn blessing of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki was held on September 1, and included the unveiling of commissions by Arnold Manaaki Wilson, Fred Graham and Lonnie Hutchinson and opening of Toi Aotearoa, art from the New Zealand collection.

On Sunday 14 August, the doors of the NEW Gallery on the corner of Wellesley and Lorne Streets were closed. After nearly four years away, a civic ceremony on 3 September will officially reinstate the Gallery to its original location on the corner of Kitchener and Wellesley Streets.

The public are invited to join the celebrations at 10am on the Kitchener Street forecourt of the Gallery. After the ceremony, which includes a speech from Mayor Len Brown, kapa haka display and a performance by the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, doors will open to the public at 11am.

Regional Facilities Auckland Chairman Sir Don McKinnon says, "I want Aucklanders to take pride in this new public building and to engage in everything the new Gallery building has to offer. We've waited three years while this complex development has taken place, and now the wait is finally over!"

The newly developed Gallery has 7,194sqm of public space including four floors, 4,264 sqm of display space, a café, gallery shop, Learning Centre, auditorium and more than 800 artworks on display.

RFA Gallery Director Chris Saines says, "It will undoubtedly take more than one visit to take in the new Gallery. We've planned an exciting opening programme and extended our hours in celebration of the new commissioned works, the new collection displays and the visit of the Robertson collection."

The Gallery's opening hours are extended to 10pm on opening day and the following Saturday. A special visitor programme for the first and second weekends of opening includes talks, presentations, readings, fashion, music and cultural performances.

Throughout September, the Gallery will have late night openings until 7pm every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. During Gallery hours, visitors of all ages can also drop into the new Learning Centre to learn more about the creative process and respond to art by creating their own.

Among the Gallery's opening exhibitions is a rare eight-week opportunity to view the private art collection of American philanthropists Julian and Josie Robertson. The Julian and Josie Robertson Promised Gift shows over 15 works by European masters of the modern period, including Gauguin, Dalí and Mondrian.

Other opening exhibitions include a lively exhibition of international contemporary art Whizz Bang Pop, and James Mackelvie's Gift to Auckland, a selection of artwork and objects from one of New Zealand's first and most important art collections.

In September, the Gallery will host screenings, care of the Film Archive, as part of the Auckland Heritage Festival. One screening includes archival rugby film footage introduced by special guest, All Blacks legend Sir Wilson Whineray.

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Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

1 Sep 2011

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki Art, history and culture are brought to life at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Founded in 1888, the Gallery remains New Zealand’s largest visual arts experience, with a collection of more than 16,000 artworks.