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New collections partnership Whangarei Art Museum

WAM Director Scott Pothan, Te Papa Assoc. Director of Living Cultures Tracy Puklowski, Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham and Te Papa Chief Executive Michael Houlihan at the art museum August 2013.

The Whangarei Art Museum Te Manawa Toi is pleased to confirm this month that Te Papa Chief Executive Michael Houlihan announced at WAM an exciting new collections partnership initiative to be piloted at the Whangarei Art Museum later this year.

The art museum will dedicate a permanent wall – a prime Te Papa collection wall – within the entrance gallery of the museum showcasing major works on loan from the national art and history collections at Te Papa. Every six months Te Papa will send six or more major works from its collection for a monthly rotational display with explanatory text and curatorial videos on each of the works on display. This will be a first of its kind in New Zealand, giving Te Papa a permanent presence in ‘our place’ at WAM and an unprecedented opportunity for Northlanders to view and appreciate key relevant works from the national collection right here in Te Tai Tokerau. A Letter of Understanding is currently being negotiated. WAM and Te Papa curatorial teams are working on the first selected works which we hope to commence displaying at the conclusion of the current Te Papa touring exhibition Brian Brake: Lens on the World mid November. WAM Director Scott Pothan initiated the concept which was enthusiastically supported by Te Papa CE Michael Houlihan who has visited the Whangarei Art Museum on two occasions since taking up the role.

If successful, Te Papa will look at ‘rolling out’ the concept to other regional art galleries and museums throughout New Zealand in the future. This new partnership initiative cements more closely the ongoing working relationship with Te Papa, the art museum and Whangarei District Council.

The Whangarei Art Museum and its trust board are also pleased to announce outcomes of a recent staff restructure this month:

Yu-San Kang will be commencing in the new role of Arts Access Co-ordinator at the Whangarei Art Museum in September. Yu-San will have responsibilities for the collection, curatorial and programming and will be acting Director in any absence of the Director Scott Pothan.

Yu-San brings a high level of practical and academic museum skills to the institution. She has a MA in Museum Studies (Distinction) from Leicester University UK, a Graduate Diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies from Victoria University, Wellington and a Bachelor of Performance Design (Hons) from Massey University. Her previous museum experience includes the London Transport Museum, the Olympic Museum, Wellington and the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt and the Wellington Museum. She has also worked at Te Papa and Museums Aotearoa as a research assistant.

Kathryn Beros has joined the team at WAM as our new front of house attendant and the ‘public face’ of the museum to our visitors. She brings considerable arts administration experience and will be known in the local arts sector from her former roles at The Gallery - Helena Bay and the Bank Street Gallery.

We welcome Yu-San and Kathryn to the small but dynamic team of staff and volunteers at WAM.


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