Sarjeant on the Quay opens with “star” events programme

Published on 13 May 2014

13 May 2014

The public gets the chance to see inside the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui’s temporary new Taupo Quay site and join in the celebrations marking its opening on Saturday, May 24.

While the doors to Sarjeant on the Quay will be officially opened at 1pm by Mayor Annette Main, gallery Director Greg Anderson says the celebratory weekend – packed with fun art activities, spot prizes, live music, exhibitions and an artist talk – runs from early Saturday through to late Sunday.

“Saturday kicks off at 9am at the Sarjeant’s Whanganui River Traders Market stall with ‘Balloon Art for the Sarjeant’. Here, everyone gets the chance to win spot prizes by designing their own special Sarjeant art balloon,” says Mr Anderson.

“Then, at 10.30am, ‘Star Trail: Chalk Art on the Pavement’ begins. This sees local school children, students and artists come together to create a trail of 80 colourful chalk stars leading from the gallery’s original Queen’s Park building, via Victoria Avenue, to Sarjeant on the Quay.

“The trail of stars highlights the strong links between the two sites while the gallery’s original building undergoes required earthquake strengthening and redevelopment work. The idea was partly inspired by the gallery’s ‘Thousand Stars’ fundraising initiative and the name Whanganui iwi gifted to the gallery, ‘Te Whare o Rehua’ (‘The House of Inspiration’). In Mâori mythology, the star Rehua (Antares), is the highest star in the heavens and is the source of all creativity.”

The chalk art stars will be judged by Sarjeant Gallery Curator and Public Programmes Manager Greg Donson and local artist Karin Strachan. Winners and prizes will be announced at the gallery’s official opening at 1pm.

‘Music Box’ – a special music installation celebrating NZ Music Month and featuring diverse performances by talented local musicians – will run at Sarjeant on the Quay from 1.30pm-4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Sarjeant on the Quay’s first exhibitions are ‘Ans Westra: Whanganui – Our People 1960-2014 Photographs from the region’ and ‘Corrugations: The Art of Jeff Thomson’. On Sunday (May 25) at 11am internationally-recognised Kiwi sculptor Jeff Thomson will talk about his work in conversation with Tauranga Art Gallery Director and Curator of the exhibition, Penelope Jackson.

The winner of the ‘Thousand Stars’ fundraising initiative draw for two nights’ accommodation at the InterContinental Wellington – launched last month – will also be announced at the gallery’s official opening. Anyone who signs up to the ‘Thousand Stars’ fundraising initiative before May 21 will go into the draw.

To find out more information about any of the events and activities, and/or how to get involved, visit

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