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Gwen Malden Te Matau-a-Māui Contemporary Art Commissions

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Te Whare Toi o Heretaunga - Hastings Art Gallery is thrilled to partner with the Gwen Malden Charitable Trust to create a new, biennial programme of contemporary art commissions worth $40,000. Photo: Sam Hartnett

A new biennial programme of significant contemporary art commissions has launched, thanks to a partnership between Te Whare Toi o Heretaunga Hastings Art Gallery and the Gwen Malden Charitable Trust.

This new opportunity will see four artists each receive $10,000, alongside additional support from the Gallery, to develop a new body of work, which will be exhibited at Te Whare Toi o Heretaunga in July, 2024.

Hastings Art Gallery Curator and Manager Sophie Davis says the Gallery wants to hear from artists living and working in Te Matau-a-Māui Hawke’s Bay.

“This initiative builds on the successes of our previous biennial exhibition, EAST, and our new partnership with the Gwen Malden Trust. We’re thrilled to be able to invest in the future of contemporary art in Te Matau-a-Māui in this way - offering tangible career support for artists and celebrating creative practice,” she says.

“The intention is that these new commissioned works will create an engaging art experience for our community and highlight the important role that artists play and platform them nationally.”

For Gwen Malden Charitable Trust chairperson, Tessa Tylee, the opportunity to support local artists to create new work was not one to be missed.

“The Gwen Malden Charitable Trust is very excited about this partnership and what it may lead to,” Ms Tylee says.

“Gwen Malden herself was an artist and active supporter of the Hawke’s Bay arts. We believe Gwen would be pleased with this new project and all that it means for Hawke’s Bay artists and the community, as a whole.”

The four recipients of the Gwen Malden Te Matau-a-Māui Contemporary Art Commissions will be selected by a panel of contemporary art advocates balancing local knowledge with outside perspectives. It will include Serena Bentley (Senior Curator Tauranga Art Gallery), Sophie Davis (Hastings Art Gallery), Ayesha Green (artist), Aaron Lister (Senior Curator City Gallery Wellington) and Sacha van den Berg (gallerist and founder of Hastings’ Ākina gallery).

The Gwen Malden Te Matau-a-Māui Contemporary Art Commissions are open to both emerging and established contemporary artists who live and work in Te Matau-a-Māui Hawkes Bay, have been practising as an artist for more than two years and have a had at least three public exhibitions. They should also be committed to exhibiting in a public and non-commercial environment, and engaging with audiences.

Importantly, artists will retain full ownership of their commissioned work.

Expressions of interest for the Gwen Malden Te Matau-a-Māui Contemporary Art Commissions have now closed. Selected artists will be announced in early 2024.

Te Whare Toi o Heretaunga Hastings Art Gallery challenges and extends creativity in Te Matau-a-Māui Hawkes Bay. Located in the heart of Civic Square in Heretaunga Hastings, we work closely with artists and audiences to explore the role of arts and culture in the world we live in. Our focus is supporting the development of new artworks, education programmes and experiences which reflect our region now, and connect us with exciting voices in national and international contemporary art. The Gallery is part of Te Kaunihera-ā-rohe o Heretaunga - Hastings District Council.

The Gwen Malden Charitable Trust is a “General Purpose” charitable trust which supports a wide range of activities for benefit of the people of Hawke’s Bay. Gwen Malden studied painting at the Christchurch School of Art and was a visionary supporter of the arts. The Trust continues to support visual arts, craft, music and drama, historic buildings, education including school facilities, equipment and outdoor education, welfare, health, senior citizens, children, and family.


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