From left to right: Culture Secretary Anthony Turua, Cook Islands Consul General to New Zealand Keutekarakia (Keu) Mataroa, Minister of Culture George (Maggie) Angene, Chair of the Arts Council of New Zealand Caren Rangi and Ben Bergman.
The new Bergman Gallery Auckland in New Zealand was officially opened over the weekend by Cook Islander Caren Rangi, Chair of the Arts Council of New Zealand, Toi Aotearoa.
Gallery director Ben Bergman said: “We are constantly exploring new opportunities for the artists that we represent.
“The new exhibition space in Auckland evolves the
gallery mission to develop and exhibit Pacific artists on a domestic, regional
and international level.
“Our extension into the largest Pacific city in the
world is an important part of that strategy.”
“We also look forward to being part of the history of
K Road, with its unique connection to the Pacific and LGBTQIA+ community and
position within Auckland’s art gallery forum,” said Bergman.
Local artist Mahiriki Tangaroa displayed a number of
her artistic pictures, which had also been on display at the recent world art
gallery in Venice, Italy.
The attendance was successful with various artists
from around New Zealand flying into Auckland for the special opening, and the
presence of the Minister of Culture George (Maggie) Angene and Secretary
“This is a milestone for our small nation, to have our
very own Art Gallery in New Zealand to sustain the promotion of our art and
design of our traditional images inside Ben Bergman’s Art Gallery,” said Turua.
“The Minister and I were so proud that our Cook
Islands artists now have an art gallery to display their traditional designs of
our various matakeinanga,” said Turua.
The Auckland Gallery manager is Benny Chan, a graduate
of the University of Auckland, Bachelor of Visual Arts, 2009.
Chan has previously worked with the Auckland Art
Gallery Toi O Tāmaki and Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, his experience
and love of Pacific and New Zealand contemporary art is warmly welcomed.
The inaugural group show features new works by
Mahiriki Tangaroa, Andy Leleisi’uao, Sylvia Marsters, Telly Tuita, Nina Oberg
Humphries, Benjamin Work, Raymond Sagapolutele and Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka.
The Bergman Gallery is located in Tāmaki Makaurau,
Bergman Gallery opened in Rarotonga in 2016, evolving
from its former incarnation Beachcomber Contemporary Art (BCA), the Gallery
works with significant Pacific artists.