SunLive – An Exciting Year of Art at Tauranga Art Gallery

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Tauranga Art Gallery Director Stephen Cleland said that during 2021 it has been wonderful to bring a range of exciting exhibitions to the Tauranga audience.

“To name a few, we presented gigantic paintings, an ecological sculpture made of over 10 km of rope and a colorful ground installation over 40 m long.

“We have exhibited artists, from Los Angeles to London and showcased work by leading artists from Tauranga as well as the next generation of creators from Bay of Plenty. We have partnered with various organizations to create flags in the city and large-scale permanent painting on the historic village road.

But of course, like everyone else, Stephen says the extraordinary freedoms we’ve enjoyed for much of 2021 seem like a distant memory.

“While it has always been possible, it is sobering to see how quickly the reality of the return of Covid to our communities has taken hold.

“Simple tasks suddenly became central: from handling daily freight and delivering artwork to material shortages, from wood to specialist art materials. “

He says that sometimes participating artists from all over New Zealand were unable to visit their own exhibitions!

“But I think when I think back to 2021 my biggest impression will be the remarkable resilience of the visual arts scene. Despite all the obstacles, at the end of 2021 it was a privilege to see the public return to the gallery, including hundreds of school children, many of whom are experiencing art for the first time.

“Over the past month, we presented a whole new series of exhibits, including the unveiling of a major sculpture for the Christmas season by tauranga artist Darcell Apelu.”

Its imposing 5-meter-high gold fountain, currently on display in the gallery’s atrium, is a testament to what is possible when enough people are determined to make it happen.

“It gives me hope for the year to come as we enter the holiday season.”

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