Chartwell Trust Receives 2011 Arts Foundation Award

Press Release – Arts Foundation of New Zealand

40 years helping the arts: Chartwell Trust Receives 2011 Arts Foundation of New Zealand Award For Patronage
40 years helping the arts: Chartwell Trust Receives 2011 Arts Foundation of New Zealand Award For Patronage

Tuesday, 11 October, 2011: The Chartwell Trust has received the 2011 Arts Foundation of New Zealand Award for Patronage for its extraordinary commitment to the visual arts. The sixth annual recipient of this prestigious Award, the Chartwell Trust joins previously honoured philanthropists Denis and Verna Adam, Dame Jenny Gibbs, Roderick and Gillian Deane, Adrienne, Lady Stewart and Gus and Irene Fisher.

Robert Gardiner ONZM established the Chartwell Trust in Hamilton in the 1970s to assist the visual arts in New Zealand. Forty years later, the Chartwell Trust has provided substantial funding to galleries, projects and visual artists. Chartwell has also established one of the most important collections of New Zealand and Australian art in New Zealand.

Robert Gardiner said “I believe in the power of the visual arts to deepen our life experiences and to enrich and inspire us. I am pleased to be able to help connect New Zealanders with the benefits the visual arts can bring to our lives”.

“The Chartwell Trust’s impact on the New Zealand art world is profound” said Arts Foundation Chair, Fran Ricketts. “The Trust’s philanthropy is strategically implemented so that the arts can flourish under their own momentum with the only ‘interference’ being ‘inspiration’. The Chartwell Trust’s philanthropy is world class”.

To celebrate the Award, the Arts Foundation gave the Chartwell Trust $20,000 to donate to artists or arts projects of their choosing. As with previous recipients, the Chartwell Trust doubled the amount for distribution with $20,000 of their own and announced that they would make four donations of $10,000 each.

The donation recipients are Auckland Art Gallery – for the inaugural project commissions on the Edmiston Sculpture Terrace, University of Auckland – to support a new programme that promotes a deeper understanding of the arts and their role in creative thinking, the Christchurch Art Gallery – for outreach activities that take art out into the community in the wake of the 2011 earthquakes and Artist Fiona Connor – towards production costs for New Zealand exhibition projects in 2012, with a particular focus on her Dunedin Public Art Gallery Residency Exhibition.

The Award for Patronage ceremony was held at the Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tamaki. The event also celebrated the establishment of the Chartwell Gallery on the fourth floor in the recently re-opened Auckland Art Gallery.

“The Award for Patronage provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of philanthropic support for the arts through the celebration of philanthropists that have made a significant impact on the arts”, said Fran Ricketts. “It is also an occasion to acknowledge donors that give at all levels and to further inspire people to give to the arts”.

More information about the Chartwell Trust, the Award and the donation recipients can be found at

The Chartwell Trust

The Chartwell Trust was established in the early 1970s in Hamilton, having as its objective the promotion of the visual arts. There was a desire to promulgate knowledge and appreciation of developments in contemporary art practices and processes. Significant to the Trust was the need to facilitate and develop wide interest and respect for the thinking involved in making and viewing art.
The aims of the founding trustee Robert Gardiner, from the Trust’s inception, included assistance to the public gallery sector and to artists and art institutions in our community. There was an interest in benefiting the public by delivering access to and knowledge of the visual arts. Being involved in creating art assisted understandings of the thinking and actions involved. “The desire to understand art and its nature and purposes as a valuable human activity, and to assist others to do the same, has been an important and rewarding motivation for me,” Gardiner says. “I have come to believe in the importance and potential of the creative visual thinking involved in art and the benefits it can deliver for a fulfilling and happy life experience. From the start, I perceived Chartwell as a community project and that’s why it was set up as a charitable trust.

The Gardiners lived in the Hamilton suburb of Chartwell at the time the Trust was established and this was the source of the name Chartwell. The initial project was to help promote and build a permanent collection-based public art gallery in Hamilton. Until that was built, the early acquisitions to the Chartwell Collection, including paintings by WA Sutton and Pat Hanly, were placed on loan into the Waikato Museum’s temporary premises. Chartwell’s vision and its goals quickly broadened beyond this initial need for a new art gallery for Hamilton. The Trust’s activities became centred around two major types of activities; the further development of the Chartwell Collection, principally a collection of contemporary works from New Zealand and Australia; and the development of a programme of philanthropy including significant donations to visual arts projects which are predominantly within the public gallery sector, (referred to as Chartwell Projects).
More information:

Donation recipients

Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tamaki, Auckland, $10,000

For the inaugural project commissions on the Edmiston Sculpture Terrace (North), including that by Auckland artist Kate Newby, whose work titled I’m just like a pile of leaves, has recently been launched in conjunction with the Gallery’s re-opening on 3 September 2011.

From Chartwell’s perspective, supporting the inaugural Edmiston Sculpture Terrace (North) project commissions fulfils the Trust’s long held commitment to the development and strengthening of the public gallery sector, to providing opportunities for artists such as Kate Newby to extend their practice, to artists’ engagement with the public, and to supporting innovative exhibition opportunities within the public gallery space. This also enables Chartwell to acknowledge the Edmiston Trust’s on-going commitment to contemporary sculpture projects on this unique terrace space adjacent to the Level 2 Chartwell Gallery.

People: Chris Saines, Director, Natasha Conland, Contemporary Curator, Louise Pether, Manager Art and Access, Auckland Art Gallery

The University of Auckland, Auckland, $10,000

For the launch of a campaign by The University of Auckland to promote deeper understanding of the arts and their role in creative thinking.

Imaginative and creative thinking is a core value of the Chartwell Trust. From Chartwell’s perspective, supporting leading education, research and development programmes centred on creative thinking fulfils one of the Trust’s founding goals to understand art and its role as a valuable human activity.
The campaign will promote creative thinking in the University and beyond. It is led by Professor Jenny Dixon, Dean of the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, in conjunction with representatives from a number of other University faculties and departments.

People/Contact: Amy Malcolm, External Relations, University of

Christchurch Art Gallery, Te Puna o Waiwhetu, $10,000

For outreach activities that take art out into the community in the wake of the 2011 earthquakes which have seen the gallery closed for many months for use as a Civil Defence and CERA Headquarters.

The outreach activities could include broad audience focussed events and new initiatives out in the community, such as working with schools, public programmes and family-friendly art events. As Deputy Director Blair Jackson wrote on the Gallery’s blog, “We are fighting hard to create something positive from the chaos. Which brings us to the good news. Together, our staff are working on a number of exciting new projects with the aim of breaking the Gallery out of these walls – if you can’t come to the Gallery yet, then we’ll try to bring a little of the Gallery to you.”

From Chartwell’s perspective, these initiatives fulfil the Trust’s long- held interests in education and programmes which engage a wider public audience with contemporary art. The Christchurch Art Gallery, through the work of its Director Jenny Harper and her hard working team, have consistently delivered high quality family-friendly art experiences for the wider community, engaging with artists to develop projects that provide active engagement with art on many levels. In the aftermath of the earthquake, the team has had to think even more laterally about how to deliver their programmes and Chartwell supports their endeavours.

People: Jenny Harper, Director, Justin Paton, Senior Curator, Paul Doughty, Development Manager

Fiona Connor, $10,000

Towards production costs for New Zealand exhibition projects in 2012, with a particular focus on her Dunedin Public Art Gallery Residency Exhibition.

Auckland artist Fiona Connor (b. 1981) is currently based in Los Angeles, where she has recently graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from CalArts, the California Institute for the Arts.

Fiona was a founding member of two of Auckland’s artist run spaces – Special and Gambia Castle – and has gone on to exhibit her work in numerous exhibitions in New Zealand and overseas. Notable venues include: You Are Here at Artspace, Auckland; the influential NEW010 at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; LAXART, Los Angeles; the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth; Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne; and Adam Art Gallery, Wellington. In May of 2011, Fiona exhibited her Graduation Exhibition, Reading the map while driving, at CalArts, Los Angeles.

In 2010, Fiona was nominated as a Walters Prize finalist for her 2009 work Something Transparent (please go round the back). Her drawings of the Auckland Art Gallery during recent demolition and construction are currently exhibited on Level One of the re-opened gallery building, and she has work in Toi Aotearoa, the opening exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery’s Gibbs Gallery.

About the Award for Patronage
The Award for Patronage is an annual award that honours philanthropists who are making an active contribution to the arts in New Zealand. The Arts Foundation is a national private trust that supports all art forms through identifying and rewarding artistic excellence via impeccable processes. The Arts Foundation enables New Zealanders to act collectively as patrons through donations and legacies.

About The Arts Foundation
The Arts Foundation of New Zealand is a charitable Trust, independent from government that invests in excellence in New Zealand Arts. The Foundation has an endowment fund, which generates income to support the arts. It encourages private individuals to support the endowment through donations and bequests. The Foundation has donated over $3.5 million to 130 artists. It is New Zealand’s premium arts organisations for supporting artists and promoting arts philanthropy.

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