Te Papa is closed until further notice. Te Papa Covid-19 coronavirus information
Kua aukati a Te Papa kia puta rā anō he pānui. He mōhiohio nā Te Papa mō Covid-19 huaketokarauna
Having surpassed its visitor target of 350,000 visitors in its first year, Te Papa’s new art gallery Toi Art has welcomed 670,346 visitors since opening in March 2018.
Charlotte Davy, Te Papa Head of Art, says that the new art gallery is a place to have fun with art.
“Toi Art has truly become a place for conversation, learning, storytelling, performance, and creative response.”
“A staggering 670,000 visitors have seen art at Te Papa in the last year, which makes it the most attended art gallery in the country. Art is for everyone, and we are thrilled that the public is seeing more art, more often at Te Papa,” she says.
Toi Art has remotivated Wellington City residents to visit Te Papa, with over 30,000 more locals visiting the museum since the gallery opened.
In the last year, Te Papa’s Learning team hosted over 3,500 students in Toi Art.
Art students from Wellington High School co-created Tony Fomison: Lost in the Dark, with Te Papa curators.
Student Elijah Neilson, says the co-curating experience has made a lasting impression.
“Getting some insight into how exhibitions are made, and seeing behind the scenes at Te Papa has been so interesting,” he says.
Neilson said that a career in art had once seemed to be inaccessible.
“But being involved with this co-curating project, while being in high school has been so helpful.
“There should be more communication between children/teenagers with a world beyond high school, and I’m grateful that Te Papa has been one of the places to help with this.”
The art gallery has been a hub of activity with over 30 public programmes featuring performance, dance, fashion, film, and music.
Ms Davy says Toi Art offers a different experience.
One visitor commented “It’s just a really easy, accessible space. And it made me proud to be a New Zealander.”
“These factors have helped provide visitors to Toi Art with a very different art gallery experience. There is an informality that feels different to what some expect of an art gallery,” Ms Davy says.
The heart of Toi Art is Tūrangawaewae: Te Toi o Aotearoa, which displays beloved works from the national collection with paintings by C.F. Goldie, Gottfried Lindauer, Rita Angus, Ralph Hotere, Colin McCahon, Gordon Walters, and Robyn Kahukiwa.
“Visitors feel like they are being reunited with old friends when they experience Tūrangawaewae. This exhibition makes people proud to be New Zealanders. It’s very humbling,” says Davy.
*Please ensure artworks and photos are accompanied by image credits. To ensure copyright terms are not breached, do not crop, overlay or edit artworks.
Senior Communications Adviser
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