Christchurch Art Gallery (Te Puna o Waiwhetu), Christchurch

Categories: Art Museums, Art Galleries, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4.1/5 based on 130 reviews on the web
The Christchurch Art Gallery, with the formal name of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, is the public art gallery of the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. It is funded by Christchurch City Council. It has its own substantial art collection and presents a programme of New Zealand and international exhibitions. The gallery opened on 11 May 2003, replacing the city's former public art gallery, the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, which opened on 16 June 1932 and closed on 16 June 2002.The Māori elements of the name are explained as follows: Te Puna honours waipuna, the artesian spring beneath the gallery and Waiwhetu refers to one of the tributaries in the immediate vicinity, which flows into the River Avon. Waiwhetu may also be translated as ‘water in which stars are reflected’.The BuildingChristchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu was designed by the Buchan Group. The gallery's forecourt has a large sculpture, Reason for Voyaging, which was the result of a collaboration between the sculptor Graham Bennett and the architect David Cole.The building was used as Civil Defence headquarters for Christchurch following the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, and again after the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The gallery was designed to deal with seismic events. The gallery's foundation, a concrete raft slab that sits on the surface of the ground, evenly distributes earthquake forces. However, it sustained some damage in the 2011 earthquake. The gallery building was used as a Civil Defence headquarters for seven months after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, and did not reopen until 19 December 2015 due to the need for extensive refurbishments and improvements.
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  • This imposing building houses some interesting exhibits, but seemed a little bare along the walls. Was particularly enthralled with the room dedicated to three home-grown artists who all took their ow...  read more »
  • Taking the whole family to the art gallery was very worthwhile - educational options for kids was an absolute winner with education booklet challenging kids of all ages to think about the art - and to...  read more »
  • An amazing building to visit with an interesting selection of art inside. The grand marble stair case leads you upstairs to more galleries. As you walk up, look above you for an amazing installation. 
  • Has the potential to be a great gallery but the lighting problems were terrible. Too bright with harsh sun in the main area and really dark in the teal rooms, making it almost impossible to read the descriptions. Generally a really nice gallery but lighting needs to change, Make it clear when you can't take photos, can often be confusing when you could take pictures then all of a sudden you couldn't anymore and had to read the descriptions of every artwork to find out if you could or not. Unwelcoming atmosphere from the staff, reception completely ignored us and talked to each other about their personal life rather than addressing customers. Probably wouldn't go back.
  • Superb. We saw a beautifuly curated exhibition of Fiona Pardington's work and felt quite uplifted.
  • Sublime NZ artworks. A well curated selection that informs and amazes visitors. Free (but please donate!). Must visit attraction.
  • Recently reopened and off to a great start. Fascinating exhibits with a sizeable portion of local and indigenous work.
  • Sensational architecture. Excellent collections. Great location.
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