Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Inside the Arts Centre

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On a drizzly Saturday, I wandered up to Abel Smith St to check out the Arts Centre open day. Many of the studios were open for inspection by the curious, with the artists on hand to discuss their works. Ensconced inside the blandly insitutional rabbit warren of low-ceilinged corridors there is an impressive variety of painters, sculptors, community arts studios, conceptual artists, dance studios, arts administrators, fashion designers, music studios and filmmakers. One of the special projects underway is a series of hoarding murals that will surround Glover Park during its upcoming renovations. Here's a sneak peek:

Glover Park artwork in preparation
I probably sounded a bit ambivalent in my previous post about the Centre, but I certainly don't mean to belittle the fantastic work being done here. On the other hand, the obvious demand for studio space just goes to show that more space is needed, including space for unknown, or subversive artists who might not get far with an application form that requires a CV, biography and referees.

So yes, this is a wonderful place, and should provide opportunities for creative collaborations and cross-fertilisation of ideas. But Wellington still needs cheap lofts, houses, shopfronts and other spaces that people can just rent and get on with doing whatever crazy stuff they do, rather than facing a selection panel in order to be officially deemed a "real artist".


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