Raglan Arts Weekend gets huge financial boost from leading fine arts charity

The Raglan Arts Weekend has received a huge financial boost with a grant from one of New Zealand’s leading fine arts charities.

The Chartwell Trust is the charitable arm of the Chartwell Collection, a collection of more than 1500 contemporary artworks from New Zealand and Australia that has been held on long term loan at the Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tamaki.

Raglan Arts Weekend coordinator Nicky Brzeska says the grant is not only a fantastic vote of confidence for the calibre of art in Whaingaroa, but also greatly acknowledges the work the arts weekend team does promoting local artists to a wider audience.

“It really says something about the Raglan Arts Weekend to have support from such a prestigious organisation.”

In its 11th year, the arts weekend has become one of the foremost art events in the Waikato, and Nicky says the number of artists involved has increased over the years with 37 creatives taking part this year.

“This financial backing is very exciting for us as it also opens up some more possibilities for us in terms of how we can nurture our talent, for example with our Mentorship Programme, a first for this year.”

Husband and wife, Rob and Eve Gardiner formed the Chartwell Trust in the early 1970s; they were both artists and members of the Waikato Society of Arts.

The family has a relationship with Raglan spending summers here at the family bach in Lorenzen Bay for many years. Rob now administers the trust alongside daughter Sue and three other directors.

They are impassioned advocates for a society that works together to build a movement for a connected creative vision – where art is more than just a passive, pretty thing on the wall.

The Chartwell Trust was set up by Rob and Eve to promote the importance of visual arts and to innovatively help fund the building of Hamilton’s first collection-based public art gallery. Since then it has moved the Chartwell Collection to Auckland Art Gallery (1997), continued to grow it year by year, and supported hundreds of visual artists and projects through the Chartwell Trust’s charitable donations programme.

The Raglan Arts Weekend kicks off with the Preview Exhibition on Thurs 19 March, 6.30-8pm at the Old School Arts Centre. Check out the artists in their studios from Sat 11 – Mon 13 April.

Visit www.raglanartsweekend.nz or www.facebook.com/raglanart for more information.

Janine Jackson