Mahara Gallery Receives Quarter of a Million Dollars from Wellington Community Trust


 The Wellington Community Trust has given $250,000 towards the Mahara Gallery redevelopment project, which will see the gallery’s building upgraded and give Kāpiti a district gallery to complement other cultural institutions in the Wellington region.

“Mahara Gallery is thrilled to have the Wellington Community Trust on board with this project” said John Mowbray, Chair of the Mahara Gallery Trust.

The donation from the Wellington Community Trust recognises the significance of what the redeveloped gallery will offer the Kāpiti area and Wellington region. “Having this support from the Trust is a great endorsement of our goal.” said Mowbray.

The project will see the gallery’s exhibition spaces trebled, creating more room to display the work of local Kāpiti artists and to host larger touring exhibitions. The redeveloped gallery will complement other public galleries and museums in the greater Wellington region, such as Pataka and The Dowse.

“WCT is committed to enhancing the Wellington region’s reputation as the arts and cultural heart of New Zealand and supports projects which develop our arts infrastructure and retain and grow New Zealand’s iconic arts institutions in the region,” said Dawn Sanders, Acting Chair of the Wellington Community Trust. “The Mahara Gallery project ticked many of our boxes.”

Mahara Gallery has been given the rare opportunity to house the Field Collection, a collection of artworks by Frances Hodgkins and other famous New Zealand artists. Currently in private ownership, it is being offered to the public gallery on the condition that it upgrades its building to a museum-standard facility suitable for fragile artworks.

Kāpiti Coast District Council has committed $1.5 million to the project which includes a commitment from the Waikanae Community Board, on the proviso that Mahara Gallery will raise the other two thirds of the funds needed for the upgrade project. Including the Council commitment, the donation from the Wellington Community Trust takes Mahara Gallery over halfway towards its target. The redevelopment is scheduled to happen in tandem with the adjacent Waikanae Library upgrade. The Otaki Community has already donated $10,000 to this fund from its unused Wellington Arts Festival Fund.