$7k for Shadbolt painting, seriously

Council pays for mayoral painting

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 16/12/2013
tim shadbolt
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ

PICTURESQUE: From left, Sean Bellew, mayor Tim Shadbolt, and Jon Irving with a piece of art which will be part of the charity auction for the SPCA 'Auction for Animals' on November 30.

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Poll: The Invercargill City Council has paid $7000 for a painting of Mayor Tim Shadbolt.

Chief executive Richard King confirmed the council bought the piece entitled Seriously Tim by Cromwell-based artist Deidre Copeland several weeks ago.

The artwork was originally up for sale in the planned fundraising auction for the Southland SPCA, but the auction was postponed because of heavy Christmas commitments.

Mr King said the painting of Mr Shadbolt was bought through the furnishings and fittings budget and did not need council approval because the money was already allocated.

He said the original asking price for the piece had been $15,500, so he believed the council had paid a good price.

When asked if he thought the public would view the painting as value for money, Mr King said: "I think those who see it certainly will".

Professionals real estate agent and auction organiser Sean Bellew was unwilling to disclose how much of the money went to the SPCA.

But he said the charity did not receive the full $7000 because Ms Copeland had requested a reserve.

She was the only artist who had the arrangement with the organisers to receive some of the proceeds.

Mr Bellew said that information had not been made public because it would cause a "storm". He would not say how much her reserve was. Ms Copeland did not return calls.

Southland SPCA chairwoman Rachel Hucklebridge said the organisation had received a "sizeable donation" but was told not to say how much.

The funds were going to be "extremely useful".

Any donations were always appreciated and she was not upset the full amount had not been given to the SPCA.

City council finance and policy chairman Neil Boniface said the spending was superfluous.

He could think of other things the money could be spent on, but he did not make the decision and the money was spent from an allocated budget.

"My grandmother used to say look after the pennies and they look after the pounds.

"It just takes some spending off somewhere else."

The piece was now hanging in the council stairwell.                                    

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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