Forrester Gallery Opens the Vault

Published on 13 December 2022


A new exhibition at the Forrester Gallery tells the story of some of the amazing acts of generosity that have shaped the art collection and the Forrester Gallery itself. The exhibition is in the former bank vault space. It includes works from the Forrester Gallery’s collection of artworks by Burns Pollock, Colin McCahon, Edward Gifford, and Evelyn Page. Each work has an amazing story of giving behind it.

Forrester Gallery staff and the Friends of the Forrester committee are getting ready for an exciting year in 2023 as they continue to raise the funds required to extend the Forrester Gallery. Waitaki District Council have approved the extension as part of the Cultural Facilities Development Project, however in order to go ahead all the funds required to construct the extension need to be raised externally. The fundraising target is between $7 million and $8 million.

The aim is to open the extension in 2025. The new spaces will support all the Forrester Gallery does to connect people with art and with their own creativity. There are new spaces for education, new storage for art works, and new exhibition spaces. The much-needed lift is a part of this project as well.

Forrester Gallery Director, Chloe Searle said “It is really timely to look at how the community has supported and shaped the gallery in the past. We will be doing a lot of fundraising next year and in this show, I wanted to honour some of those who have given to the Forrester Gallery in the past and to inspire our community to continue this impressive legacy.”

Chloe continued, “I am moved by these stories, like the gift of John Megget Forrester. A bequest from him helped purchase the building and he is honoured by having the gallery carry his name. Sadly, he and his wife had no children who survived to adulthood, but their family name lives on here.”

Another remarkable story is how the Forrester Gallery came to be the recipient of a significant gift of works by Colin McCahon. McCahon had connections to this area, having been a student at Waitaki Boys’ High School. But another factor helped drive this gift. The annual Burns Memorial Children's Art Exhibition struck Noel Parsloe. He was impressed to see this attention being given to children’s creativity which influenced the family’s choice to donate these works to the gallery. The Forrester Gallery holds these significant art works in memory of Beatrice Parsloe, the artist’s sister, and Noel Alexander Parsloe.

“As we get ready for our 2023 fundraising campaign, I am continually humbled by the generosity people have shown in the past. The example of Ivy Pollard whose bequest enabled the purchase of over 100 artworks is something I find really inspiring. I know our community continues to support so many causes that make our district a great place to be. I am looking forward to talking with people and businesses about how they might contribute to this exciting project.” Said Chole Searle.


Tagged as: