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Academy Secures Sale of Galleries

The New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Incorporated has accepted an offer from NZPS Management Limited to purchase the Academy Galleries at 1 Queens Wharf, Wellington. The Academy will vacate its home of the past twenty-three years at the end of October 2024.

In February this year, the NZAFA offered the three units comprising the Academy Galleries for sale to discharge its debts, but the premises were withdrawn from the market at the end of July.

The Academy remained deeply in debt, however, with no likelihood of being able to trade its way out of this position. Voluntary or involuntary liquidation was increasingly likely and, early in October, the interest within the market was tested again.

“The offer received for the Galleries allows the Academy to escape its debt burden and insolvency, and avoid almost certain liquidation,” said NZAFA President and acting Director of the Academy Galleries, Wayne Newman FRNSNZ.

“A key consideration in accepting the offer,” Newman added, “is that it allows the Academy Galleries to operate for the next year to deliver the planned programme of exhibitions.”

The Academy has three themed exhibitions open to all artists planned for the first half of 2024 – ‘Water World’ opening in January, ‘Urban Forms’ in April, and ‘Portraits & Nudes’ in early winter. It will present ‘Rembrandt Remastered’ during the Festival of the Arts and has plans to host an exhibition of prints of contemporary Japanese artists in May on behalf of the Japan Foundation and Japanese Embassy.

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Later in the year, the twelfth exhibition of Parkin Drawing Prize finalists is planned to be held in August and the Wellington Children’s Art Exhibition is planned for late September-early October 2024.

The delay until the Galleries close also provides the needed time for the Academy to explore options and reach decisions about the shape and size of its future operations. A Special General Meeting of Academy members will be held in February.

“It looks very much like an outstanding job has been done creating a potentially very positive outcome for the NZAFA,” said recently elected NZAFA Council member John Dow. “It’s an outcome that offers a final resolution, potential for the brand and legacy to continue and evolve, and its reputation to grow,” added fellow Council member Nicholas Cottrell.

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