With thanks to Bush Telegraph journalist Dave Murdoch. First published in the Bush Telegraph on 11/7/2022, link at bottom to New Zealand Herald.
The Rinitawa Art Gallery is now officially open and it is hosting the Woodville Art and History’s seventh art exhibition.
It was blessed at a dawn gathering on June 24 and formally opened by Mayor Tracey Collis at 6.30pm before invited guests.
A spectacular display of art is on display for sale with a wide variety of art forms featuring acrylic, pen and ink and oil paintings, photography, Māori craft in many of its different forms, wooden and stone carvings and multi-media creations.
Some of these are featured in this edition but there are many more to be seen with a visit to the gallery.
The Rinitawa Gallery and the Seventh Lindauer Art Exhibition on Thursday, June 24 attracted a large crowd of invited guests including a contingent of the Lindauer family who had travelled from all over New Zealand as far away as Russell.
Spokesman for the Woodville Art and History Group, Bruce Hutton, in welcoming all the guests described the journey to the gallery’s opening coincidentally just over 21 years since the Lindauer Replica Gallery was originally opened on the site.
Woodville Art and History spokesman Bruce Hutton described the journey which culminated in the opening of the Rinitawa Gallery and its Seventh Exhibition.
He estimated the cost of converting the old Tararua District Council buildings into the gallery to be $120,000, raised in sponsorship and voluntary labour. The final step was the installation of the new signage just finished that morning and sponsored by the Meridian Te Apiti Power Up Community Fund.
He explained the change of name for the gallery from Lindauer to Rinitawa, saying it was the Lindauer family who suggested it, being the name local iwi gave for Lindauer when he lived in Woodville. The iwi is in agreement.
Peter Lindauer, speaking for the Lindauer family, said their family trust is Rinitawa and Woodville had a special place in the memories of his family as a place where they were educated and raised.
Bruce Hutton concluded, saying the gallery is debt free with plans to have it pay its way by restoring foot traffic, and find and support new artists, including re-establishing the artist in residence programme with the Czech Republic and developing programmes to attract school groups into the historical part of the gallery.
Mayor Tracey Collis described the Māori connections with Te Apiti stemming from the explorations by Whatonga 26 generations ago. She related the traditions to the unique geographic landscape of rivers and mountains before welcoming guests to the evening.
She thanked the Woodville Art and History committee for the huge effort to create the gallery, saying it was part of district policy to support the arts.
“The gallery is a credit to you all and I’m sure it will become the pride of the district.”
Collis predicted once Te Ahu a Turanga Manawatū Tararua Highway is open in 2024 the full benefits of the gallery will be realised but in the meantime “the gallery is an another attraction for Woodville bringing visitors to our district”.
She also announced the district council has committed $250,000 to help fund the Lindauer Walkway alongside funding from Waka Kotahi NZTA.
She congratulated all the artists for their wonderful work before declaring the gallery and the exhibition open.