New patron for Mahara Gallery

By Vivienne Bailey

Denise Gibson congratulates Lady Deane
Denise Gibson congratulates Lady Deane

Gillian, Lady Deane recently accepted an invitation to become the patron of Waikanae’s Mahara Gallery, a move which has come at a pivotal time for the district’s art gallery, currently immersed in fund raising to redevelop facilities. A long-standing supporter of the arts, Lady Deane said she was delighted to accept the role of patron.

“I have had a strong connection with Mahara for many years. We feel the gallery has a special place in the hearts of those who love the arts on the Kapiti Coast.”

Lady Deane is also keen to support fundraising efforts, aimed at upgrading the gallery, currently located in the district’s old library building. Developing facilities to museum-grade standards is necessary to house and retain the Field Collection, a private collection of artworks by nationally significant artists, including Frances Hodgkins. The collection has been held in Kapiti for more than 100 years, and features works of considerable interest to local cultural heritage. The recent exhibition, ‘Frances Hodgkins in Kapiti’ attracted many visitors, nearly 4,000 from further afield, including the greater Wellington region. “It is super to be part of the exciting developments at Mahara as we raise funds to extend the gallery and to retain the Field Collection. This wonderful collection belongs and feels at home in Kapiti,” said Lady Deane.

Chairman of Mahara Gallery’s Board of Trustees, John Mowbray, said having the support and knowledge of Lady Deane would bring an immeasurable boost to the gallery.

“Lady Deane has supported Mahara for a long time – she is a natural fit for our new patron.”