Artist Darcy Nicholas accepts Toi MAHARA appointment

Prominent artist Darcy Nicholas has been appointed Patron of the Toi MAHARA Gallery
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Distinguished contemporary Māori artist and arts administrator Darcy Nicholas, who recently
received the Tauranga Moana Award for enduring artistic contribution, has accepted an
invitation to become Patron of Toi MAHARA, the newly redeveloped district gallery for Kāpiti.
Mahara Gallery Trust Board Chairman Gordon Shroff says the Board is thrilled to have the
support and encouragement of an artist and administrator of such reputation and
“Darcy has been a leader in the contemporary Māori art movement for many years since the
1960s,” he said. “As an artist he has exhibited widely in New Zealand and in many countries
around the world.
“Such is his stature, he was commissioned to produce a sculpture for the opening of
Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in 2015.
“He has also built a formidable reputation as an art administrator. During his twenty years as
the General Manager of Community Services for Porirua City Council he created the
Pataka+Art Museum and integrated it with the public library.
“That experience will be extremely valuable for Toi MAHARA as we build the newly
redeveloped gallery into a hub for community creativity and a significant visitor attraction.
“Darcy has strong links with our area. He identifies as Te Atiawa, has connection to the other
iwi in Kāpiti and past family connections to Waikanae.”
Darcy Nicholas was born in Waitara, Taranaki. He is of Kahui Maunga, Te Atiawa, Ngati
Ruanui, Tauranga Moana and Ngati Haua iwi.
He is a former Fulbright Scholar. In 2010 he was awarded the Queen’s Service Order (QSO)
for services to museums and in 2013 received the Te Arikinui Queen Te Atairangikaahu
Award for exemplary services to Maori art. 
“We are all indigenous to this planet earth is a comment I have often made,” he says. “It is
our creativity that makes us stand out and that starts with the world of knowledge which is
stored in modern libraries.
“Thats why it’s important for the gallery and the library to work closely together.”