50 Years of Aratoi
Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History in Masterton marks its 50th anniversary with several celebrations: the exhibition ‘50/fifty: 50 Years of Aratoi’ (17 August – 10 November), a lecture series by cultural leaders (17 August – 27 October), an education programme for Wairarapa schoolchildren (from Term 3), and a book 50 years in 50 objects with texts by leading cultural professionals (to be launched 11 October 2019, the museum’s 50th Birthday). All events are free of charge.
The museum was initiated by a group of Wairarapa residents who purchased ‘Galliard – Forms in Movement’ by Barbara Hepworth in 1963 to advocate for the establishment of an arts centre in the region – the doors opened six years later, in 1969. Aratoi is the first institution in New Zealand to own a sculpture by the modernist artist.
Aratoi currently welcomes about 50,000 visitors each year, hosts 25-30 exhibitions annually, delivers an education programme to thousands of students, runs a live performance series, and operates a museum shop. The Aratoi collection remains the only public collection of art works in the Wairarapa; donations to the collections have more than tripled since 2016.
EXHIBITION – ‘50/FIFTY: 50 YEARS AT ARATOI’ opens Friday, 16 August, at 5.30pm Curated by Collections Manager Bronwyn Reid, the exhibition features a range of items held in the museum collection: artwork by cultural icons such as Colin McCahon and Dame Robin White, Taonga Māori, moa bones, botanical sketches, photographs of early settlement, and some surprises too. Luit Bieringa, former Director of Aratoi and of the National Art Gallery, is Guest Speaker at the Opening; Wairarapa Mayors Lyn Patterson (Masterton), Viv Napier (South Wairarapa) and John Booth (Carterton) will officiate; and Bob Francis, QSE, MBE serves as MC for the evening.
FREE LECTURE SERIES – 17 August (11am) and continues every second Sunday, from 1 September, 2pm
Public Talks begin on Saturday 17 August, 11am, with Director Susanna Shadbolt and Collection Manager Bronwyn Reid, followed by five talks representing the five decades.
1/9 The 1970s – Luit Bieringa, former Director of Aratoi and the National Art Gallery (1979-89)
15/9 The 1980s – Barbara Roydhouse, Wairarapa Arts Foundation Committee Member (1984-1989) and Chair (1989-1993); Current Chair of Aratoi Regional Trust
29/9 The 1990s – Bob Francis QSO MBE, Mayor of Masterton (1986-2007)
13/10 The 2000s – Richard Arlidge, former Aratoi Director
27/10 The 2010s – Dame Robin White, Honorary Patron of Aratoi
EDUCATION PROGRAMME – From Term 3 A free education programme led by Museum Educators Kate Devenny and Becky Bateman, supported by Masterton Trust Lands Trust and the T G Macarthy Trust. Book online (https://www.schoolinterviews.co.nz Code: 5yghv) or by email: email@example.com.
BOOK LAUNCH – 11 October, 5.30pm 50 years in 50 objects highlights Aratoi’s history with texts by Gregory O’Brien, Sian van Dyk, Bronwyn Reid, Jill Trevelyan and Elizabeth Bisley, and full-colour illustrations. The book will be launched on October 11th, the museum’s actual birthday.
SPONSORSHIP – The 50th anniversary programme is supported by Hansell’s, one of Masterton’s first businesses and sponsor of the Hansell’s Sculpture Exhibition and Awards in the 1970s and 80s; Goodeye, an international award-winning design consultancy creating for many iconic brands; Resene Paint Limited, New Zealand's largest privately owned and operated paint manufacturer; Trust House, a community-owned company working to enhance people's well-being; and the Friends of Aratoi.
ARATOI, 12 Bruce St, Masterton, Wairarapa, Tel (06) 370 0001 www.aratoi.org.nz