Installation view of DAN ARPS & THE ESTATE OF L. BUDD’s “Modern Arrangements” at Michael Lett, Auckland, 2010.Courtesy the artists and Michael Lett, Auckland.

New Zealand

New Zealand

Known to the Indigenous Maori people as Aotearoa, “The Land of the Long White Cloud,” New Zealand is home to a thriving art scene, made up of residents with diverse Pacific, Asian and European heritages. In addition to indigenous Maori art, New Zealand is also the world’s center for contemporary art from Pacific islands, as the country shares sovereignty over Niue and the Cook Islands.

On September 4, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, destroying more than 500 buildings. The quake forced the closure of many small Christchurch galleries and art spaces, and the sixth SCAPE Christchurch Biennial was postponed from September until early March 2011.

The country’s main arts funding organization is Creative New Zealand, which supports a wide range of arts-related projects, organizations, publications, spaces, research and travel. The council is undergoing major structural changes in its governance. The complex systems for funding applications and the relationships between the 28 members of its branches—including the Arts Council, Arts Board, Te Waka Toi (Maori Arts Board) and the Pacific Arts Committee—will be streamlined into a single 13-member body, with experts on Maori and Pacific Island issues. Recurring grants to 34 professional arts organizations for 2010 totalled more than NZD 16.9 million (USD 12.9 million), a rise of over one million from 2009. The organization also continued its efforts to bolster stronger regional initiatives and a more local appreciation of Maori art.

To read the full article, purchase the Almanac at our online store.