Christchurch Art Gallery (Te Puna o Waiwhetu), Christchurch

(4.2/5 based on 200+ 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The building looks quite artistic and beaitiful, but exhibition were a few, maybe, still on the process to rebuiding the city after huge earthquake's damage.  more »
  • I was suitably impressed with this building and its potential. The art works were very interesting but the architecture itself held my attention.  more »
  • The Gallery is very centrally located and admission is free. The exhibition was very nice and above all very nice presents. Definitely worth a visit.
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Google
  • 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.
  • One of the newest attractions in town. Totally worth going and check their exhibitions. The building its awesome and the decoration around its quite interesting
  • Such a variety of art styles. Some really good exhibits at the moment. A great place for the whole family.
  • A fantastic Christchurch place to go. Look out for the cool kids activities, they might let you stick stuff to the walls
  • Superb. We saw a beautifuly curated exhibition of Fiona Pardington's work and felt quite uplifted.