Thursday, March 12, 2009

Art Lover jilted


I went for a walk through Auckland city last Saturday. I thought it would be nice to take the 'Walk of Art' a route through the city that follows a line littered with art galleries.

I was shocked by what I found. Tbe Old Auckland Art Galllery is completely out of commission while a contemporary extension is added to the heritage building that houses most of the city's collection. The New Gallery, an old, converted telephone exchange across the street was showing a rag-tag exhibition of works referring to the New Zealand landscape (a show that lacked coherence). It was exasperating. And every gallery we hoped to view was shut.

Seems to me that the weekends would be the perfect time to invite the public into art galleries and exhibition spaces of all kinds. Private galleries play an important role in inducing and inducting new people into the world of the arts. If they are simply a store-room for work, seen only by the usual suspects who only ever visit when there is an opening and the chance of a free glass of wine then the opportunity - both commercial and cultural is lost.

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