Tauranga Art Gallery punching above its weight

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Tauranga City Councillors are commending the Tauranga Art Gallery for securing a healthy budget surplus.

Councillors Larry Baldock, Terry Molloy and Bill Faulkner congratulated the gallery for achieving a surplus of $34,685 for the six months ended December 2012, at a Projects and Monitoring Committee meeting yesterday. The surplus sits at $250,127.

This figure is about three times that of the same period in 2011.

Tauranga Art Gallery Trust audit committee chairman Gerald Gibbard said it was a credible result in the economic environment.

Unlike larger galleries across the country, the Tauranga gallery does not have an acquisition budget to purchase art.

Gallery director Penelope Jackson said donations to the gallery came from generous private collectors and artists and showed support for what the gallery was achieving.

A recent 5th birthday gift of more than 40 art-works has been graciously accepted by the Tauranga Art Gallery.

The gifts included 39 works such as woodcuts, silkscreen, lithographs, paintings and pencil works from New Zealand artist Nigel Brown.

The council granted the gallery $423,700 over the six months ended December 2012, while the Western Bay of Plenty District Council contributed $17,000.

The gallery's trust is committed to raising 20 per cent of the gallery's operating budget.

The gallery received $6600 from admission donations for the six months ended December 2012 - a $1500 increase from the previous year.

More than 31,000 people visited the gallery over this time, including nearly 5000 students.

A survey conducted by the gallery in November last year indicated 47 per cent of visitors were first time visitors, and 53 per cent repeat visitors.

Visitors were satisfied with the gallery.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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