Christchurch Art Gallery reopens its doors

Christchurch Art Gallery reopens its doors

Old favourites and new works are on display as Christchurch Art Gallery opens its doors to the public nearly five years after earthquakes devastated the city.

The gallery opened at 10am today with artworks on display upstairs, downstairs, in the foyer and on the roof.

Since the February 2011 earthquake the landmark building at the edge of Christchurch's historic cultural precinct has operated as an emergency headquarters for civil defence and provided temporary accommodation for Christchurch City Council staff.

Following seismic strengthening and retrospective base-isolation, it's now being billed as one of the safest and most earthquake-resilient galleries in the world.

Visitors will be able to view old favourites, as well as a selection of the 500 new pieces the gallery has acquired since it closed, director Jenny Harper says.

 

There'll be a pop-up shop, food trucks, and this evening a cash bar and DJ until 10pm.

Highlights on show include Bill Culbert's spectacular Bebop chandelier of chairs and fluorescent lights from the Venice Biennale and Christchurch's favourite bronze bull Chapman's Homer by Michael Parekowhai.

"It's not every day you open a gallery for the second time," organisers say.

The 4000-piece stained glass window in the nearby Christchurch Arts Centre's Great Hall was rededicated at a service on Wednesday.

It was rededicated to the staff and students who served in World War I and previously attended an institution based at the centre. This included Canterbury College, the School of Engineering, the School of Art, and Christchurch Boys' and Girls' High School.

NZN