The Christchurch Art Gallery - Te Puna o Waiwhetu

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu is the largest art institution in the South Island and home to one of New Zealand's most important public art collections.

Located in the heart of the city's Cultural Precinct, its Maori name, Te Puna o Waiwhetu, relates to the life-giving properties of the artesian spring on which the Gallery is built and its role in contributing to the cultural wellbeing of the community.

One of the Gallery's primary goals is to encourage a sense of ownership of this collection within the community. A vital element in achieving this is the active and varied programme of learning experiences that is offers to schools and, while it is closed, as outreach services.

This gallery is important within New Zealand's network of galleries and museums. With well over 6,300 works of art acquired since its foundation in 1932. Canterbury is a region with a long standing art school and is home to many committed artists.

The collection is at the core of what the gallery shows and preserves for the future, but it also sources many works of art from other public and private collections around the country and internationally. Curators enjoy providing artists the opportunity to create new works of art in our spacious foyer and galleries as well as outside the building. Staff know how good art can make an immediate and important impact, and they also know that they make a difference to visitors with what they do at the gallery.

Christchurch Art Gallery - Te Puna o Waiwhetu received a $10,000 donation from the Arts Foundation through the 2011 Arts Foundation Award for Patronage recipient the Chartwell Trust.

The Chartwell Trust made their donation "for outreach activities that take art out into the community in the wake of the 2011 earthquakes which have seen the gallery closed for many months for use as a Civil Defence and CERA Headquarters.  The outreach activities could include broad audience focussed events and new initiatives out in the community, such as working with schools, public programmes and family-friendly art events. As Deputy Director Blair Jackson wrote on the Gallery's blog, 'We are fighting hard to create something positive from the chaos. Which brings us to the good news. Together, our staff are working on a number of exciting new projects with the aim of breaking the Gallery out of these walls - if you can't come to the Gallery yet, then we'll try to bring a little of the Gallery to you.'

"From Chartwell's perspective, these initiatives fulfil the Trust's long- held interests in education and programmes which engage a wider public audience with contemporary art.

"The Christchurch Art Gallery, through the work of its Director Jenny Harper and her hard working team, have consistently delivered high quality family-friendly art experiences for the wider community, engaging with artists to develop projects that provide active engagement with art on many levels. In the aftermath of the earthquake, the team has had to think even more laterally about how to deliver their programmes and Chartwell supports their endeavours."

The Gallery is committed to providing its audiences with an interactive, family focused and educational exhibitions that draw on the collection and highlight works of art from around the country. Chartwell Trust supports the gallery to deliver outreach activities that are designed to engage a wider public audience, through public programmes and family friendly art events.

Christchurch Art Gallerys' ability to draw upon such a resource as that of the Chartwell collection of contemporary art, is essential for the success of its long running popular exhibitions such as Blue PlanetWhite on White and the forthcoming Bad Hair Day exhibition.

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu
Cnr Wordester Boulevard and Montreal Street, Christchurch 
www.christchurchartgallery.org.nz
Free entry. Open daily, 10 am - 5 pm , late night Wednesdays until 9 pm.