Discover the hidden gems inside the Christchurch Art Gallery
Christchurch Art Gallery is one of the 12 must-see art galleries located in Christchurch. It houses one of New Zealand’s most important public art collections and regularly runs exhibitions showcasing New Zealand and international artists. It is funded by the Christchurch City Council.
The original Robert McDougall Art Gallery in the Botanic Gardens had become too small to house the city’s growing art collection so a larger, more contemporary building was commissioned. Designed by the Buchan Group and erected in the heart of the historic precinct of Christchurch, the building features an impressive glass and metal facade abstractly representing the Koru and the Avon River. There are nine exhibition areas spread across two floors and connected by a grand marble staircase. There is also a reference library, auditorium, education workrooms, shops, restaurant and extensive collection storage.
Opened in 2003, the new Christchurch Art Gallery was then temporarily closed shortly after the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. It was used as Civil Defence Headquarters for seven months following and accommodated many Christchurch City Council staff.
All artworks remained onsite during this time, but they were held away from public viewing.
After remedial and extensive earthquake proofing work was completed on the gallery, it was reopened at the end of 2015. Christchurch Art Gallery is now one of the most resilient and safest art galleries worldwide.
Dutch Funeral (1872) by Petrus van der Velden
Summer Morn (1929) by Evelyn Page – be sure to read the very interesting tale about this painting!
Tomorrow will be the same but not as this is (1958-9) by Colin McCahon
No son of mine goes to university (1980) by Trevor Moffitt
12 May 2018 – 26 May 2019
We Do This
‘A recharged contemporary hang to mark 125 years of women’s suffrage.’
5 May – 16 September 2018
Us vs Them
Tony de Lautour
‘Welcome to the low brow, high art world of Tony de Lautour’s paintings, sculptures and ceramics.’
16 February – 5 August 2018
Pickaxes and Shovels
‘See the lives of the early settlers and Kāi Tahu Tangata whenua in this selection of extraordinary works by frontier Pākehā artists.’
In addition to its exhibitions, the gallery runs a number of special events including a Family and Kids Program where workshops are offered on an eclectic mix of art and craft. There is usually a small fee for the workshops and bookings are essential.
Also of interest are the lunchtime Art Bites. These 20-minute presentations on a particular piece of work on display are presented by staff, guides and guest speakers. New art bites are available every Friday at 12:30pm.
The wheelchair friendly gallery offers free, informative guided tours between 11.00am and 2.00pm daily, and a late night tour on Wednesday evenings commencing at 7.15pm. Tours leave from the front desk on the ground floor. It is not necessary to pre-book. Tours are between 45 – 60 minutes duration.
Audio guides are available for use with your smartphone and headphones can be borrowed from the front desk. Audio Extras can be accessed here. These include artist interviews, curator tours and floor talks.
A Sign Language Interpreter is also available.
How to get there:
The Gallery is within easy walking distance of Hotel 115. The Gallery is situated on the corner of Worcester Boulevard and Montreal Street. Underground car parking is also available at $1.00 per 30 minutes. Until the end of January 2019, the first hour of parking is free at the gallery.
Alternatively, the wonderful vintage Christchurch City Tram stops directly outside the gallery.
Here’s what people on TripAdvisor have to say about the Christchurch Art Gallery
“The building alone is impressive with its modern galleries & entrance hall. The installations were interesting & thought-provoking. The bathrooms were a huge let down for such a modern building. It was almost like they were a second thought. Worth a visit to this gallery.” – Natasha G
“The children loved looking at all the different artworks. There was also a booklet to complete. This gave the ‘adults’ time to enjoy the different exhibitions. A little something for everyone. The staff is friendly and very helpful. Wonderful facilities.” – TravelMum84
“Stunning architecture, great layout and always an interesting mix of exhibitions. One of my most favourite places to visit regularly in Christchurch. The store within the Art Gallery complex has the funkiest and stylish objects and the Galleria restaurant and cafe is divine. The Art Gallery is my most favourite Christchurch building and there is a great quiet sense of peacefulness that comes with the beautifully open architecture and space.” – annieb107
Te Puna o Waiwhetu
(Relates to the life-giving properties of the artesian spring on which the gallery is built)
Open 10am until 5pm daily
Late night Wednesday until 9pm
Cnr Worcester Blvd and Montreal St
Tel (+64 3) 941 7300
August 6, 2018 by Denym Bird