When you have a landmark building as iconic as the Sarjeant Gallery, sitting proudly at Pukenamu Queen's Park, how do you let people know that you have moved to a temporary home?

In March 2014, the Sarjeant had to close its doors because of earthquake restrictions and for the safety of staff, residents and visitors.

Two months later, the doors were opened at the temporary site at 38 Taupo Quay in a completely different environment - a purpose-converted warehouse in a growing and vibrant arts hub.

With fundraising for the gallery redevelopment in full swing, it has always been important to keep the Whanganui community and visitors to the city as informed as possible as to what is being planned.


There is much news to get across about this project and it was decided to clearly illustrate what the building project will look like and who endorses it.

That is reflected by the sign closest to the Davis Library.

Another sign close to the front of the gallery directs visitors - by way of stars printed on the pavement - back to the interim gallery at Taupo Quay.

Bright pink stars were chosen to lead people from Queen's Park to Taupo Quay as they link to the gallery's name - Te Whare o Rehua (the House of Inspiration) - and also tie in with the Thousand Stars fundraising initiative.

Rehua is associated with the bright star Antares in the constellation Scorpius.

His home was in the highest heaven (at the latitude of Whanganui, the star passes almost overhead), and a repository of rich gifts and the aesthetic arts.

To date, the Thousand Stars initiative has successfully raised in excess of $260,000 and more than 60 Stars have already fulfilled their commitment, having reached and/or exceeded their individual $1000 donation target.

However, to reach the $1 million goal, it is imperative to increase the numbers.

As one of the Thousand Stars, the weekly donation will be part of a major collective contribution to our national heritage and support and commitment of those who donate will be acknowledged within the new build.

The idea is that people give at least $5 a week - the cost of a cup of coffee - for four years to the project. That amounts to a little over $1000 and they can claim a tax rebate of $343 on their donation.

If a thousand people do the same ... there you have it - $1 million in the kitty.

Simply sign up online at www.sarjeant.org.nz/1000stars or contact redevelopment officer Vivien Lindsay on 06 3493138, or at vivien.lindsay@sarjeant. org.nz