Len Lye culture tour to raise money for centre

17:00, Apr 07 2014

A group of Len Lye enthusiasts are jetting to New York for an arts and culture tour to raise money for the centre.

Led by art-loving restaurateur Terry Parkes, who boasts insider knowledge of New York, the contingent of mostly New Plymouth people will savour the art, architecture and food the Big Apple has to offer.

The tour is set to raise about $20,000 towards enhancing the visitor experience at the contemporary art museum when it opens the middle of next year.

The donation will be included in the trip package, which will be funded entirely from travellers' own pockets, Parkes says. "It came about because we're having to raise money for artworks so it's not on the ratepayer's shoulders."

He says it is a way to give back to the passionate supporters of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and the Len Lye Centre project.

"I'm a great believer in charity, but we have to offer something back to the givers," Parkes says.


He says his connections will mean the group will be privy to many places normal tourists wouldn't see.

"While the New York tour will be about art, it's also the architecture, my love of food, hospitality, cocktails, theatre and people."

Staying at one of the best hotels in Time Square, New York Marriott Marquis, the itinerary includes the Broadway show Book of Mormons and guided tours of galleries and museums, including the Guggenheim, the Neue Galerie and Beacon DIA Foundation.

Cuisine experiences include Yum Cha in Chinatown, dinner at the legendary family style Italian restaurant Carmines, lunch at the famous Cafe Sabarsky and cocktails on the rooftop of the Peninsula Hotel's Salon de Ning.

There will be free time for participants to visit friends and family and for optional extras such as a guided insight into Harlem's jazz history or a gospel service, or a walking tour of New York architecture.

While the 16 places for those travelling over together are all taken, people can join the tour in New York, which includes VIP passes to a Len Lye cocktail party at The Drawing Center and the launch of the Frieze Art Fair, by contacting Sindy Jones at House of Travel New Plymouth. The tour leaves on Monday, May 5 and returns on Friday, May 16.

Taranaki Daily News