The site that Tauranga Art Gallery is built on has history, it has whakapapa. This peninsula, Te Papa, was renowned for its rich soils for gardening kūmara and in the harbour an abundance of kai moana thrived and sustained its people. Up until the 1820s, it was a place of shelter and nourishment for tangata whenua.
Today, Tauranga Art Gallery carries on the legacy of offering an anchorage, a safe place, for artists to express their ideas, and for audiences to engage as they navigate the fast-paced changing world around them.
Art + Architecture is an exhibition that maps the key moments of Tauranga Art Gallery’s conception, and journey as a public art gallery.
It is also an exhibition about people. He tangata.
The local artists and community that lobbied for a gallery. The donors that bequeathed significant funds that progressed a dream to a reality. The steering group, followed by the Trust that purchased the building. The ‘Friends’ that championed and many donors that gave. The Director that engaged award winning architects. The ongoing support of tangata whenua. The elected Council members that approved operational funding. The artists that created the opening programme, that the kaumatua blessed, and the Prime Minister launched.
Since opening in 2007, three quarters of a million visitors have passed through the doors and over one hundred thousand children have been inspired through creative learning programmes. Together a skilled team of curators, educators, registrars, technicians and hosts have worked closely with many, many artists to present exceptional art programmes – just for you.
Now in 2023, Tauranga Art Gallery, still an independent Trust, moves into another phase of development. In 2024, a building project designed by Warren and Mahoney Architects will create a new entrance onto Masonic Park where visitors will enter through an expanded retail experience showcasing the best art and design from Tauranga Moana and beyond, alongside a café. Inside, a new learning and education centre will offer creative programmes for all ages and for the first time, a Children’s Gallery will present youth programmes year round.
The redeveloped building will be the first stage of Te Manawataki o Te Papa, Tauranga’s Civic Precinct, and shall continue to realise Tauranga Art Gallery‘s vision ‘to build lifelong connections with art’.