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Aratoi - Magical Evening at Museum

Magical Evening at Museum - 80 works of art, 1 chance to own one

Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, in Masterton, hosts a major auction on 13 April, to fundraise for the near 50-year-old institution and to showcase work by artists who have exhibited at the Museum, such as Milan Mrkusich, Gregory O’Brien, John Pule, Elizabeth Thomson, Ans Westra, Robin White & many more. About 80 works of art – from under $500 to over $10,000 – will be available to view and purchase. None of the art comes from the Aratoi Collection; the work has been provided by the artists themselves or by their dealer galleries. Tickets ($35) are now on sale online, from Eventfinda.

The Auction will be a truly magical evening. Art in an award-winning architectural space. Music from Barry Saunders of the Warratahs. Gourmet platters served by Friends of Aratoi.

ARATOI ARTISTS AUCTION: 13 April, Friday, Viewing from 5:30 pm
Exhibition viewing: 7–12 April, 10 am – 4:30 pm
Bidding: Register on arrival at Auction; absentee & telephone bidding available
Tickets to Auction ($35): Limited to 200, available online
Prize Draw for Robin White work ($20): Limited to 400, available at Aratoi

“Aratoi is our taonga,” says Dame Robin White, who is donating Tui and Magpie from her Bird Watching series, 2011, two screen prints framed as one, for a prize to be drawn at the Auction. “The series – in which the birds are doing the watching – emerged out of my reflections on the social, cultural and environmental issues that were so effectively presented in the Wairarapa Moana exhibition at Aratoi in 2010,” says White. The birds “tell a story of invasion and appropriation.” Dame Robin White is Honorary Patron of Aratoi.

Elizabeth Thomson has provided two works for the Auction: Star Map and Mon Voyage Sauvage, 2014, both made with thousands of glass spheres. Aratoi is currently showing Thomson’s survey exhibition ‘Cellular Memory’, until April 2nd, and has also published an illustrated book of Thomson’s art.

The Auction represents a rare opportunity to view, and attain, Triptych: Homage to Rodchenko, 1966, a major work by Milan Mrkusich (b. 1925), one of New Zealand’s greatest living painters. Mrkusich had exhibited at Aratoi in 2014/2015, the first major public exhibition of his work from the 1990s. Art historian Edward Hanfling considers the triptych “a pivotal and monumental painting”.

“Like many publicly funded institutions, the Museum faces severe fiscal constraints, and the Auction is part of a new initiative of the Aratoi Board to raise necessary funds,” says Barbara Roydhouse, Chair of the Aratoi Regional Trust. “Over the last few years, we’ve had quite a significant funding squeeze. There’s only one full-time staff member now.”

Aratoi has a near 50-year history of excellence – exhibitions, community programmes, and a collection of about 4,000 Māori taonga, social history items, and art from the colonial to the contemporary built up from the 1960s.

The participating artists, from the Wairarapa and beyond:
Stephen Allwood / Anna Balasoglou / Nick Banks / Denise Batchelor / Bridget Bidwill / Anthea Birch / Anneke Borren / Annabelle Buick / Esther Bunning / Angela Busby / Megan Campbell / Hélène Carroll / Ian Chapman / Gavin Chilcott / Paula Coulthard / Matthew Couper / Neil Dawson / Sue Delamare / Anita DeSoto / Mark Dimock / Geoff Dixon / Sam Duckor-Jones / Annette Dunnage-Roy / Jan Eagle / Rebekah Farr / Fatu Feu’u / Tina Finn / Rebecca Flowerday / Bruce Foster / Crystal Chain Gang / Kirsty Gardiner / Janet Green / Rhondda Greig / Dennis Handyside / Pat Hanly / André Hemer / Adrian Jackman / Evan Jones / Gina Jones / Virginia King / Anna-Marie Kingsley / Francis Kirkham / Sam Ludden / Marian Maguire / Paul Martinson / Nikki McIvor / John McLean / Paul Melser / Milan Mrkusich / Gregory O’Brien / Prakash Patel / John Pule / Tina-Rae Carter / Anna Rutherford / Susanna Shadbolt / Madeleine Slavick / Kate Small / Nicki Stewart / Rongomaiaia Te Whaiti / Elizabeth Thomson / Linda Thornton / Linda Tilyard / Michel Tuffery / Jake Walker / Viv Walker / Adam West-Watson / Ans Westra / Robin White / Sandra Wong

Aratoi Regional Trust is deeply grateful for all the goodwill that has made this event possible: the artists for donating work or for a generous Return of Sale, dealer galleries for waiving their commission in favour of Aratoi, auctioneer Mike Perry of Wakefield Auctions Greytown, musician Barry Saunders of the Warratahs, Dame Robin White for her donation of work, Geoff Francis of goodeye for all the design work, Peter Biggs and Assignment Group Ltd for their assistance with marketing, Sir David Gascoigne for writing the Foreword in the catalogue, and Armstrong Prestige Wellington, Hamill Realty Ltd, MREINZ, Rigg–Zschokke Ltd, and Wairarapa Building Society (WBS) for their advertising support which allowed the catalogue to be printed.

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