Mahara Gallery Redevelopment on Show

The new design for the redevelopment of Mahara Gallery will get its first public airing on Saturday 15 December at an early evening launch function at the Gallery.

The design has been prepared by the Wellington-based architectural firm, Athfield Architects. It follows the confirmation of the firm’s appointment after a Kāpiti Coast District Council-led selection process.

Mahara Gallery Trust Board Chairman Professor Les Holborow says the early feedback on the design has been extremely positive and the Board is looking forward to pushing ahead with the project.

“The design and the path that has been charted for progressing it through to the construction stage gives the project new momentum,” he said.

“The new facility will enable Mahara to be a focal point in the upgraded Mahara Place and provide a welcoming and quality space for the cultural, education and community roles of the district gallery for Kāpiti.

“The design also gives us a platform to approach the potential donors we need to attract the necessary funding.”

Kāpiti Coast District Council, in its Long Term Plan, has committed a third of the $5.24m budgeted cost of the project with the Mahara Gallery Trust Board responsible for the remaining two thirds.

“With projects of this kind, particularly where nationally-recognised collections such as the Field Collection are involved, the Crown is often a significant contributor. We will be working to source funding from those Crown agencies that support projects of this kind,” said Professor Holborow.

“It’s fitting that we are also using this occasion to launch our Collectables Seeking New Homes exhibition which aims to raise money for the Redevelopment Project.”

The exhibition features donations of art works which will initially be exhibited in the Gallery and then auctioned on Saturday 9 February next year.

Gallery Director Janet Bayly says more than 100 works have been donated.

“We have received some remarkable donations of works by artists well-known in New Zealand,” she said. “They include diverse artworks spanning historical to contemporary fields.”

Among some of the well-known names are ceramics by Mirek Smisek, Barry Brickell, Chester Nealie, Wilf Wright and Janet Wright; paintings by Peter McIntyre, Allie Eagle, Matt Couper, Tony de Latour and an early landscape attributed to Isabel Field, sister of Frances Hodgkins; prints and drawings by John Drawbridge, Susan Skerman and Maria Olsen; photographs by Neil Pardington, Tony Whincup, Alan Leatherby, Richard Wootton; and many others.”

All the images will be able to be viewed at