The future of the historic Muka Studio press has been safeguarded thanks to an $110,000 Government grant for the Eastern Southland Gallery in Gore, Arts, Culture & Heritage Minister Maggie Barry has announced.
Used to produce works by Toulouse Lautrec and Pablo Picasso, the giant 19th century lithographic press was brought to New Zealand by printmakers Frans Baetens and Magda van Gils, founders of Auckland’s influential Muka Studio, in 1984.
“Since coming to New Zealand the press has helped produce works by some of our country’s leading artists including John Reynolds, Seraphine Pick and Dick Frizzell, and was gifted to the Eastern Southland Gallery in 2012,” Ms Barry says.
“This funding will enable the Gallery to fit out the newly-named Muka Studio Wing of its Arts Centre. Muka Studio’s legacy will continue as a living exhibit where artists can produce and display works.”
The project marks the mid-point in the Eastern Southland Gallery’s vision to establish an arts centre in the former East Gore Presbyterian Church.
It will also include a storage and preparation area for the heavy lithographic stones the press uses, a history of Muka and an exhibition space.
“I congratulate everyone involved in helping to support the Arts Centre project. Together with the Gallery itself, it will provide a boost to the region’s economy and enhance what is already a very significant art facility.”
Across the gallery’s two sites, locals and visitors alike can appreciate the press and the fine work of artists such as Ralph Hotere and the John Money collection.
This includes Australian, African and American indigenous work as well as those of New Zealand artists Rita Angus and Theo Schoon.
“My thanks also to my colleagues Hon Chris Finlayson, who made this announcement on my behalf in Gore today, and Todd Barclay, MP for Clutha-Southland, for his strong advocacy and support for the project.”
The grant is the third to be announced from the newly established Regional Culture & Heritage Fund following $1.5 million support for the Nelson School of Music auditorium and Whakatane Museum & Research Centre redevelopments.
Further information about the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund can be found at: www.mch.govt.nz/RegionalCultureHeritageFund
Published on 4th November 2016