Shakeup at arts venue

Last updated 05:00 18/12/2013
Artstation

NEW LOOK: Ponsonby Rd’s Artstation is being revamped ahead of next year’s classes.

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The restructure of Artstation is still receiving mixed reviews as work gets under way.

The Ponsonby Rd creative institution has come in for a shake-up after years of operating at a loss.

The Waitemata Local Board, which is responsible for determining its use and function, sought a review to identify how it could run more effectively.

From next year Artstation will offer tuition in music, digital media, performance and writing to complement its 30-year history of offering visual arts.

But changes to the building itself mean facilities such as darkroom printing have been cut from the programme.

Meighan Ellis has taught photography classes at Artstation for the past two years.

She agrees change was needed but says the loss of a number of committed practitioners and teachers is sad.

"The casual teaching staff were more than colleagues. They were a family with some very talented artists teaching at this unique facility for over 20 years with a following of returning, loyal students each term and each year," she says.

Nga Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative creative director Sarah Longbottom hopes the changes will get more people through Artstation's doors.

In the new layout, shared and individual studios can now be hired, as can four new gallery spaces, which will be relocated to the ground floor.

"We're excited to see it become a real community space," Ms Longbottom says.

"Moving the galleries to the ground floor will give Artstation a lot more scope to do that."

The changes are aimed at helping the institution operate within its budget, Auckland Council arts and culture manager Kaye Glamuzina says.

The building is closed for cleaning and reorganisation until February.

Bookings are now open for the first term's programme.

Email artstation@ aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or phone 376 3221 to request a programme or book a class.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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