Work has begun on the new MAHARA
MAHARA – now a construction site for a new, modern art facility.
Work to create a new MAHARA has begun. Contractors, Crowe Construction have begun the task of converting Waikanae’s original library building into a modern, purpose-built art facility. The rebuild is expected to take 12 months to complete. It will double the number of exhibition galleries, almost triple the exhibition space and create a secure environment to house the nationally-significant Field Collection of art works, 24 by Frances Hodgkins.
Before the construction team moved onto the site, an open day and a formal blessing ceremony created closure for the site and paid tribute to the service the old gallery has performed over the past 25 years and the people who have worked in it.
Kaumatua Koro Don Te Maipi performed the blessing, followed by addresses from Kāpiti Coast District Council Mayor, K Gurunathan and Mahara Gallery Board Chairman, Gordon Shroff.
“We moved in on that first day full of hopes and trepidation,” founding member Norma McCallum wrote on the gallery wall during the Open Day. “Was it going to work? Well, it did – thanks to our wonderful community. And here we are today.”
Another to write a message on the wall was artist and weaver Tracey Morgan who wrote about what the walls had seen over the years, concluding with: “I look forward to opening my doors in the near future as a newly-developed taonga for the community and Aotearoa.”
Artist and weaver Tracey Morgan writes her message on the wall of the old Gallery during the Open Day.
Founding Waikanae library librarian, Rachel Oliver during the Open Day with founding Gallery member Norma McCallum.
Blessing the old MAHARA