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artpractice! – opening at Parliament House


Our 15th Anniversary Tribute Exhibition

artpractice! – opening at Parliament House

On Wednesday 4pm 8th February 2011 the Whangarei Art Museum exhibition of 8 Whangarei connected artists Artpractice! opened at Bowen House Gallery Parliament Buildings.

The exhibition, the first of its kind to be hosted by the NZ Parliament in its history was formally opened by the Hon Phil Heatley MP for Whangarei by invitation from the NZ House of Representatives. Cross–party MP’s attended the opening ceremony which also included artists and representatives from Te Papa and the arts and museum community in Wellington. For Parliamentary security reasons this was a strictly invitation only event. The exhibition will be an extended part of public tours to Parliament and used by Ministers and MP’s diplomats etc for events over the next two months while the exhibition is on. Currently the NZ Parliament is hosting a delegation of MP’s from the Swedish Parliament who also visited the exhibition. According to Michelle Janse

Displays and Collections Coordinator Parliamentary Services, a record number of MP’s attended the opening speech and floor talk by the WAM director Scott Pothan which was recorded. The Minister Phil Heatley spoke enthusiastically about Whangarei and its thriving arts sector at the opening and displayed evident pride at hosting the exhibition for the next two months. The new Opposition Arts Culture and Heritage Spokesperson Charles Chauvel was among many MP’s present and expressed a desire to visit the Whangarei Art Museum very soon.


This exhibition is a first in Parliamentary history for a public art gallery to showcase its region’s creative brilliance at the heart of New Zealand government!

The exhibition of Whangarei-connected contemporary artists from several creative disciplines opens at the Bowen House exhibition gallery and dispersed throughout various spaces in the lobby to Select Committee Rooms together with works from the Parliament Collection.

Thank you to WDC Councillor Crichton Christie and Rent-a-Cheepy for sponsoring the considerable freight costs to Wellington for this exhibition.

Our acclaimed 15th Anniversary exhibition artpractice! is still streamed online @

Northern Advocate art critic Laurence Clark remarked – ‘there’s plenty of diversity in the practices of the eight Whangarei-connected artists selected for the artpractice! exhibition….Don’t miss Colleen Ryan-Priests cast glass pieces Whitebait, Sprats, Scallops and Snapper. The four segments combined are a meticulous 3D representation of Whangarei Harbour, seemingly frozen in blocks of ice’.( N Advocate 8 Dec 2011)

This work has been acquired for the WAM permanent Collection

Artists: Greg Barron; Grant Beran; Laurence Berry; Shona Firman; Charlotte Fisher; Star Gossage; Colleen Ryan-Priest; Kura Te Waru Rewiri ( sound track by Dame Gillian Whitehead by kind permission).

Curated by Scott Pothan

Mid February – late March Bowen House Parliament Buildings.


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