letter to the editor 1.8.16 (not printed)

The fact is the Anderson Park Art Gallery is closed and has been for almost three years. The Gallery is not offering the public service it is funded to by the Invercargill City Council due to the decision to close the Gallery. The Anderson Park Art Gallery Committee is clearly resolute in its decision to move the collection and no longer function as the Anderson Park Art Gallery which is what it is funded to do by ratepayers. It is important to note that this funding of the Gallery has not been reduced to reflect a reduced level of service during the duration of the Gallery’s closure to date. The Southland Museum and Art Gallery meanwhile are unable to progress plans for redevelopment until cataloguing work has been completed e.g. collections have specific storage requirements and therefore until the collection is catalogued and reviewed to address direction and long term sustainability – it is impossible to assess and progress a vision. The Southland Museum and Art Gallery would, for example, benefit from the diversion of either the staffing resource or funding, currently being allocated to a Gallery which has closed, to assist in the cataloguing of what is undoubtedly one of Southland’s most significant cultural assets. If Mr Kennedy, is, as he claims, supportive of the creation of a collaboration between the institutions then we can all look forward to the city’s arts/cultural institutions presenting a way forward together rather than competing for funds to provide the same service.