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Something for every age in 2 books from Auckland Art Gallery

31 August 2011

Something for every age in two new books from Auckland Art Gallery

Two wonderful new art books will be published as part of the celebrations for the re-opening of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki this coming weekend.

“In many ways, the two titles sum up much of what we are endeavouring to achieve through this exciting new building; deepening knowledge and understanding about our collections and encouraging young people, in particular, to make a lifelong experience of learning through art,” says Director Chris Saines.

Art Toi is a wide-ranging review of New Zealand’s art from the 1600s to the present day edited by senior curator Ron Brownson.

I Spy NZ Art is aimed at children and their families, and uses the alphabet to introduce art.

Both books are extensively illustrated with the photography, sculpture, installations and paintings held at the Auckland Art Gallery - one of New Zealand’s most celebrated public art collections.

Art Toi contains over 300 finely detailed illustrations from 181 artists. Engaging essays written by the Galley’s curators open each section and are complemented by eight focused ‘vignettes’ by external writers exploring different themes in New Zealand’s art.

Art Toi is published with support of the Molly Morpeth Canaday Trust and is an ideal souvenir of the newly expanded Auckland Art Gallery. “Art Toi reveals our art history is captivating and absorbing. I am proud that it reveals that New Zealand’s art is as relevant as sport. This book shows with pleasure and pride - how great our art is,” says Ron Brownson.

I Spy NZ Art matches works by 26 artists to the letters of the alphabet to create New Zealand’s first art-based ABC book. “Our idea was to encourage young readers to look for items and ideas within the illustrations that begin with a letter of the alphabet,” says project coordinator Julia Waite. “We developed this book with support from the Chartwell Trust who are committed to bringing children and art together. The Gallery’s programmes for children and families, plus the new Learning Centre all help young people foster a love for art.”

Suggested solutions from the I Spy’s back pages include words children already know – but others are terms that develop an arts vocabulary. For example, ‘stegosaurus’ is suggested for ‘S’, and ‘abstract’ is one of the notions for the letter ‘A’.

Both books, Art Toi and I Spy NZ Art, will be available from the Gallery Shop at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki from Saturday 3rd September 2011.


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