One year on

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Tuesday 4 September 2012
Amy Cooper

It’s been an entire year since we opened the doors of the newly restored and expanded Auckland Art Gallery!

Crowds enter the Gallery on opening day

I've been enjoying reading back through the archives of this blog to see the years of hard work that led up to this moment, right from the moment we closed our doors and emptied the galleries. A webcam kept the public (and staff!) up-to-date as demolition began. In 2009 we let people see into the future with an animated ‘fly-through’ of the Gallery. In early 2010 we looked back at the progress to date with a nifty timelapse video. Finally work drew to a close and on 6 June 2011 we were able to announce an opening date!

But before that could happen, we had to start moving everything back in… Being allowed to explore the newly restored building was an exciting and humbling experience. The moment when the first painting was hung in the developed galleries was momentous. Finally we took over the new office spaces and the Gallery and its Māori dimension commissions were blessed in a dawn ceremony.

And finally on 3 September 2011 we opened, with fanfare and fun and performances and street art and crowds. Hearing the feedback from visitors in those opening weeks never gets old:

In the last year we’ve:

  • Held 32 exhibitions
  • Seen the gallery spaces taken over by dancers, string quartets, blues bands, and hip-hop crews
  • Released multiple publications
  • Won 12 awards for our beautiful building
  • And welcomed more than 677,000 visitors through our doors! 

Thank you to everyone who's visited us in the last year. It's exciting every day to see people experiencing the galleries and our collection, and we've got plenty of surprises in store for you, so stay tuned...