Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery Governance Committee and Society Members Honour Long Standing Supporters
At their recent AGM, members of Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery Inc. paid tribute to three valued and long-standing supporters, and presented them with Honorary Life Memberships: artist Lois McIvor; local body politician and arts and culture advocate Janet Clews; and cultural advisor, master carver and musician Rewi Spraggon.
The Gallery, which opened its new building in late 2014, is rapidly gaining a renewed reputation as one of the most stimulating and interesting new galleries in the region. Te Uru also has a rich history, having started as the Lopdell House Society as part of the Waitemata Arts and Cultural Centre 30 years ago. Many of those present at the AGM, including fellow honorary member Heather Carter, have been involved with the gallery society since it opened in 1986.
Lois McIvor has a long association with Titirangi and her luminous evocative landscapes are inspired by the Waitakere Ranges where she lived for many years near her neighbour and tutor Colin McCahon. She was a founding member of the Association of Woman Artists and has exhibited with the gallery on a number of occasions.
Janet Clews, has served West Auckland as its only women mayor and one of its longest serving and dedicated politicians. She currently sits on the Portage Licensing Trust. She has been an advocate for the arts in West Auckland and an advocate for the gallery in particular.
Rewi Spraggon, Maori-preneur, artist and cultural advisor, played a pivotal role in guiding the Society as it sought a new name for the bespoke gallery which stands next to Lopdell House in Titirangi. Rewi negotiated the bequest of the name Te Uru. For local iwi Te Kawerau a Maki, the predominant wind of the Waitakere’s is Te Hau a Uru – the west wind that comes from the Tasman, bringing change, giving direction and influencing the land over which it sweeps.
Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery Inc began as the Lopdell House Society which formed in 1983 to establish an arts centre in Lopdell House, originally the Titirangi Hotel built in 1930. The Waitemata Arts and Cultural Centre opened in the refurbished Lopdell House on 19th of November 1986 by Governor General, Sir Paul Reeves, and Waitemata City Mayor, Tim Shadbolt.
Now operating from a new, purpose-built building, Te Uru receives core operational funding from the Waitakere Ranges Local Board of Auckland council, with additional funding from The Trusts Community Foundation, Foundation North and Creative New Zealand, as well as from its members. The Gallery welcomes new members and anyone wishing to make a financial contribution to its operations.
Image: Lois McIvor (front left), Janet Clews (front right) and Rewi Spraggon (absent) were presented with Honorary Memberships at Te Uru’s 2016 AGM. Also pictured are Honorary Member Heather Carter (centre) and (left-to-right) Te Uru Director Andrew Clifford, Chair Marcus Williams and Secretary Robyn Mason.