The heART in our museum
The current exhibition at Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki is by local artists as part of the Taranaki Arts Trail. Painter Marianne Muggeridge specialised in painting and life drawing at Elam School of Fine Art in the early 1970’s. She won the NZ Portrait Gallery’s inaugural National Portrait Competition (2000) and the Adam Portraiture Award (2002). Sculptor Roger Morris is predominantly an oil painter, who also carves the local Taranaki andesite rock. His work in in the past 15 years has been dominated by themes demonstrating how international politics affects society and humanity. Stuart Allan’s love of photography is expressed through the beauty of the stunning Taranaki landscapes he captures. Stuart has travelled extensively across New Zealand capturing iconic images of landscapes, people and their humanity.
Some people might ask why we have temporary art exhibitions in our museum; isn't it our role to collect, preserve and display dusty old stuff? Yes, it is and we love doing it, but we are so much more than that. As with libraries, we have the chance to be at the heart of the community and, in our case, we choose to be at the heART.
By showcasing local artists we invite a different audience into our facility, open people's eyes to the talent that resides in our district, and encourage people to explore what might be a new topic for them. We give people the opportunity to open their heARTs to new experiences, and see the connections between current artistic practice and the treasured art in our collections. Isn't that what a museum does; give people a chance to open their hearts to the past, and make new connections with our history?
If you work in a museum I'd love to know whether you show recently conceived artworks and what people's reactions are.