Cooking up new art fund

CHRIS MOORE
Last updated 05:00 18/08/2014
Bill Culbert
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RARE ART: Bebop, part of Bill Culbert’s installation at the 2013 Venice Biennale, is a 20-metre long work created from 34 individual suspended pieces of pre-loved furniture lit by a fluorescent tube.

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The Christchurch Art Gallery has launched an ambitious $5 million fundraising campaign to attract a new generation of art benefactors and supporters.

The endowment fund, launched at a gala black tie dinner in Christchurch on Saturday, hopes to raise $1m annually during the next five years. The three-tier fund will encourage donors to give annual amounts ranging from $25,000 to $5000 and $1000.

"We're not one hundred per cent sure how we'll get there but we have faith, hope, optimism and a plan," the CAG director, Jenny Harper, told the 245 guests at the dinner.

The fund is part of a comprehensive package of changes clearly aimed at attracting new and younger supporters into the CAG when it re-opens in late 2015. The Gallery Trust has been re-named the Christchurch Art Gallery Foundation while an increasing emphasis on private funding will be the focus of an intense marketing campaign.

"We're conscious of the fact that the same people are continually asked for money. We now want a new group of partners to become involved with the gallery," Harper says.

Saturday's dinner included a special menu created by acclaimed British chefs Fergus and Margot Henderson and an auction which raised nearly $80,000 towards the purchase of a work by New Zealand artist Bill Culbert.

Bebop, part of Culbert's installation at the 2013 Venice Biennale, is a 20-metre long work created from 34 individual suspended pieces of pre-loved furniture lit by a fluorescent tube in what has been described as "an airborne banquet . . . an unstill still life".

Bebop will eventually hang above the gallery's main staircase.

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- The Press

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