Artist's Suter support lives on

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 13:00 08/02/2013
Bishop Suter Trust paintings
MARTIN DE RUYTER/Fairfax NZ
PROMINENT BACKING: Nelson MP Nick Smith, left, and Craig Potton, chairman of The Bishop Suter Trust with the Jane Evans Print Raffle and her works.

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Jane Evans support of the Nelson arts community is continuing with limited-edition reproductions of her paintings now raising funds for the Suter Gallery redevelopment.

Evans, a huge arts supporter and advocate, died at her home in Russell St last year after battling a chronic and debilitating health condition for much of her life.

The Suter is facing an estimated $12 million bill for its redevelopment project, and the Nelson City Council has put aside $6m for the work in its long-term plan.

Redevelopment project trustees hope the Government will help cover the shortfall with money from the regional museums fund, which Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Chris Finlayson administers, but the community will also need to step up.

A fundraising initiative - the Jane Evans Print Raffle - was launched at the Suter yesterday, and Nelson MP Nick Smith bought the first ticket.

Dr Smith, who also made a personal donation to the redevelopment cause, said he would be "rattling the tin pretty hard" to get financial support from Mr Finlayson, "but we're also going to have to back that up with strong community fundraising".

"Nelson has got a tremendous challenge around our iconic heritage buildings like the Suter, the Nelson School of Music, and Nelson Cathedral. We're going to have to work hard as a community to strengthen and upgrade these facilities," he said.

"The Suter's plans are very exciting, but it's going to be a big stretch to fund the redevelopment. I hope people will get in behind the raffle and the Suter's wider fundraising to support this project."

Bishop Suter Trust chairman Craig Potton said the Jane Evans Print Raffle was for two "superb quality" framed reproductions of two of the artist's most popular paintings.

First prize was a limited-edition print of Strutting Rooster with Audience Entranced, valued at $1600, and second prize was a limited-edition print of Flowers from Vence, valued at $1300.

Mr Potton said the two limited-edition prints were on display alongside the original paintings at the Suter, which formed part of the exhibition Jane Evans 1946 - 2012: A Commemorative Survey.

"Both are numbered prints from limited editions of 250, which gives them high value. I predict tickets will sell very fast," he said.

Raffle tickets were $20, available at the Suter, Woollaston Estates, Neudorf Vineyard, and Richmond Picture Framers, and there were only 500 available.

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Suter redevelopment project fundraising co-ordinator Ann Hercus said the images in the raffle were chosen by Evans, for limited-edition reproductions.

"We are proud to have the opportunity to share Jane's enormous talent in this way, in support of a cause she worked for tirelessly and with great determination," she said.

Evans was a foundation trustee of the Bishop Suter Trust Board, and the Suter Gallery has the biggest representation of her work in a public collection.

Jane Evans 1946 - 2012: A Commemorative Survey runs until March 24.

- Nelson

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