Anzac exhibit last post for arts centre building

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 16/04/2014
Southland Times photo
NICOLE JOHNSTONE/Fairfax NZ
Riverton Community Arts Centre gallery co-ordinator Emma Coppin prepares a work by New Zealand Defence Force official artist Matt Gauldie, ahead of the final exhibition at the centre.

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When the Riverton Community Arts Centre closes its door next month, it will close on a big chapter of its history.

The former Salvation Army Hall, home to the Riverton Community Arts Centre for more than a decade, is slated for demolition, a casualty of the high cost of earthquake-strengthening work.

Before the wrecking ball arrives, however, there is time for the art centre to host one final exhibition.

Simply titled Anzac, the exhibition, expected to be ready for viewing tomorrow, features work by the New Zealand Defence Force's official artist Matt Gauldie, a selection of prints by war artist Peter McIntyre and a variety of local artists.

Gallery co-ordinator Emma Coppin said the news the arts centre would have to move had caused sadness throughout the town.

"It was a real shock at first . . . but now we're just trying to be positive. It is the heart of the street in a way, and of the arts here in Riverton."

During its 13 years in the hall, the arts centre has hosted workshops, concerts by the Verlaines and Don McGlashan, a variety of plays and hundreds of exhibitions, featuring works by artists Nigel Brown, John Wishart and poet Cilla McQueen.

It was also the rallying point for many in the community when the centre's first chairwoman and foundation member Cathy Tane was diagnosed with cancer.

The arts centre hosted a silent auction, with several artists donating works, to raise funds for medical expenses, before Tane died in 2007.

The arts community planned to remain in central Riverton, and was in the process of securing a new site, Coppin said.

The Anzac exhibition runs at the Riverton Community Arts Centre until May 11. 

 

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