Friends Tours

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With a wonderful group of hosts and an exciting and diverse programme, the Friends’ Tours are an eagerly anticipated part of the Festival. 2012 featured 28 different tours, with perennial favourites returning (some with a new twist) alongside many new tours that took in architecture, private art collections, artists’ and dance studios, and more.

View the 2012 Friends' Tours below or in the this Friends newsletter.

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To contact the Friends email friends@festival.co.nz

Friends of the Festival


PO Box 10 113
Wellington 6143
New Zealand
Ph + 64 4 473 0149
Fax + 64 4 471 1164

A Guide for New Collectors

Tuesday 28 February 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: Price: $30; No Wheelchairs

Enjoy a glass of wine and a nibble while visiting the home and garden of David Alsop & Susannah Shaw, owners of {Suite} Gallery in Wellington.  David will share insights on how to build an art collection and talk about his personal collection including contemporary paintings and sculpture, European modernist paintings and works on paper, and a wide range of European and New Zealand photographic works.

A Walk of Art (a)

Wednesday 29 February 10.15am - 12.15pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $25; No Wheelchairs; Walking

The Cuba Street precinct is a lively neighbourhood for a group of Wellington’s best known contemporary dealer galleries. The morning walking tour will include a visit to Bowen Galleries, Hamish McKay Gallery, Bartley and Company Art, and Robert Heald Gallery on the Left Bank.  Each dealer will give a brief introduction to their Festival show and the artist/s they are representing, ensuring an interesting and stimulating morning.

A Walk of Art (b)

Wednesday 29 February 1.00pm - 3.00pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $25; No Wheelchairs; Walking

Just like any other art movement there have been changes to this inner city gallery scene since the Friends' last visit in 2010.  In the afternoon you will visit Mark Hutchins Gallery followed by {Suite}, a new arrival on Cuba Street. The Friends will then meet Olivia McLeavey who has taken over as Gallery Manager from her legendary father, Peter McLeavey. The tour will conclude with a visit to Quilters, specialists in rare and historic second hand books, including New Zealand art publications.

Behind the Scenes at Te Papa (1)

Thursday 1 March 6.00pm - 7.00pm
Meet at Te Papa, Level 2 Information Desk
Price: $25

William McAloon, Curator, Historical New Zealand Art, will present a special behind the scenes tour of Te Papa, focusing on some of his favourite art works in the collection. William was co-curator, with Jill Trevelyan, of the 2008 exhibition Rita Angus: Life & Vision, and Editor of Art at Te Papa, a finalist in the 2010 New Zealand Post Awards. Numbers are strictly limited.

Encore

Sunday 26 February 4.15pm - 6.45pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $30; No Wheelchairs; Walking; Stairs

Two very generous hosts invite you this Festival, to a cocktail party to celebrate 11 consecutive sellout Tours! The hosts, and their beautifully restored twentieth century Mt Victorian home of extraordinary treasures – art works, antiques, rare manuscripts and musical instruments – always enthrall Tour Friends.

Footnotes on Footnote

Saturday 3 March 3.15pm - 5.00pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $30; No Wheelchairs; Stairs

Visit the studio in Cuba Street where new works are made and there is constant dance action! Footnote Dance is acknowledged as a national treasure with a commitment to New Zealand made contemporary dance. Director, Deirdre Tarrant, a passionate Wellingtonian and Director and Founder of the company, will take you through a typical day, including discussion with the choreographers as dancers rehearse new work.

Heather Straka - Painter

Monday 5 March 5.30pm - 7.00pm
Meet at Page Blackie Gallery, 42 Victoria St
Price: $30

Heather Straka is one of New Zealand’s most exciting and challenging artists.  She has a fascination for the morose, the taboo and the exotic and her projects have been numerous and varied, showcasing her technical brilliance as a painter and her tendency towards bold, confronting subject matter. After a number of successful exhibitions, Straka was awarded the prestigious Frances Hodgkins fellowship from the University of Otago, and most recently The William Hodges Fellowship.  An excellent speaker, Heather will discuss her work and career followed by a tour of her current exhibition.

Leading Portraits

Saturday 25 February 5.00pm - 6.30pm
Meet at Portrait Gallery, Shed 11, Wellington Waterfront
Price: $30

Last year the Friends visited Avenal McKinnon in her home and now you are invited to visit her in her professional capacity as Director of the Portrait Gallery. Enjoy a glass of wine and a nibble while viewing the winning portrait and contending works in the prestigious, biennial Adam Portraiture Award and Exhibition 2012. Listen to Avenal, and a previous winner, discuss elements of portraiture and its place in society today. 

Lunch with the Artistic Director

Tuesday 21 February 12.30pm - 2.00pm
Meet at The Museum Art Hotel
Price: $45

New Zealand International Arts Festival Artistic Director Lissa Twomey will join the Friends for lunch at the acclaimed Hippopotamus Restaurant, where she will share her experiences and some of the challenges and highlights of putting together the programme for the 2012 Festival.  Chef Laurent Loudeac and Maitre d' Timothee Lepoutre of The Museum Art Hotel will also talk to us about the lunch menu and the culinary delights the team has created for Festival foodies. As a special offer we invite you to bring along a ‘non-Friend’ (same price as a Friend).

Money Talks

Wednesday 7 March 9.30am - 12.00pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $30

Pataka Gallery has a renowned and respected place in New Zealand's art scene and an international reputation. Join curators Helen Kedgley and Bob Maysmor who will guide you through two intriguing exhibitions. Helen will show you Pieter Hugo’s Nollywood documentary photos, which explore the multilayered reality of the Nigerian film industry where everyday reality, myth, fact and fiction are all closely intertwined.  Bob will discuss the imagery and art of banknotes in an exhibition which looks at the Art of Money revealing some of the most beautiful designs in the world. 

Morning Tea with Sir Jon Trimmer

Tuesday 6 March 10.00am - 12.00pm
Meet in Foyer, St James Theatre
Price: $30

New Zealand’s most famous and loved dancer shares anecdotes from his long and remarkable career – from his childhood in Petone to early success overseas and his return to contribute in the revival of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and tributes, and a mainstay of the ballet for over 50 years.

Old Masters of Bidwill Street

Thursday 8 March 9.30am - 12.30pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $30; No Wheelchairs; Stairs

For a delightful morning shared with two of Wellington's most talented "Master Artists" visit the Bidwill Street homes of Brian Carmody and Grant Tilly. Grant, renowned actor, artist, creator of wooden treasures and more recently, of wood-block prints, will regale you with his life and times. A few doors uphill, Brian, one of New Zealand's most respected watercolour artists, will give you a glimpse of watercolour magic and invite you to tea in the garden.

Vivek Kinra – Revealing the Mysteries of Indian Classical Dance

Saturday 25 February, 2.00pm - 4.20pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $30; No Wheelchairs; Walking; Stairs

Experience the beauty of Bharata Natyam, an Indian classical dance style taught right here in Wellington.  Internationally renowned dancer, choreographer and teacher Vivek Kinra, who trained at India’s famous Kalashektra Dance School will introduce you to this intricate art form as he conducts a masterclass for his senior students. Tea and samosas will be served at the conclusion of this tour.

A Private View

Tuesday 28 February 9.45am - 11.15am
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $30; No Wheelchairs

Visit the home of David Alsop and Susannah Shaw, owners of {Suite} Gallery in Wellington. In addition to a walk around the property's sculpture garden, David will talk about the collection he and Susannah have built up over the last 20 years. The collection includes contemporary paintings and sculpture, European modernist paintings and works on paper, and a wide range of European and New Zealand photographic works.

Ath on Wellington

Wednesday 14 March 10.00am - 12.00pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $30; No Wheelchairs

Hugely popular and oversubscribed last festival, we are very fortunate to be able to offer another bus trip around Wellington with architect Ian Athfield. His always interesting, insightful and provocative opinions on architecture and urban design have helped shape Wellington, and in the future will contribute to the rebuilding of Christchurch.

Behind the Scenes at Te Papa (2)

Friday 2 March 10.00am - 11.00am
Meet at Te Papa, Level 2 Information Desk
Price: $25

William McAloon, Curator, Historical New Zealand Art, will present a special behind the scenes tour of Te Papa, focusing on some of his favourite art works in the collection. William was co-curator, with Jill Trevelyan, of the 2008 exhibition Rita Angus: Life & Vision, and editior of Art at Te Papa, a finalist in the 2010 New Zealand Post Awards. Numbers are strictly limited.

From Redemption to Retreat

Tuesday 6 March 1.30pm - 4.30pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $30; No Wheelchairs

A rare opportunity for an intimate introduction to two of Wellington’s sacred sites. St Gerard’s (1908), a city icon prominently sited on Mt Victoria above the harbour, and Futuna Chapel (1961), hidden away in the folds of the Karori Hills and only in recent years saved from demolition. Not usually accessible to the public the tour of these two fine examples of Wellington’s religious history and architecture will be led by architect Nick Bevin, Chair of the Friends of Futuna charitable Trust.

Kelburn Collections

Thursday 1 March 10.00am - 12.30pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $30; No Wheelchairs; Walking; Stairs

After a sell out tour last year, the Friends have another opportunity to visit this beautifully restored Kelburn home, where a Kiwi/American collector talks about his contemporary collection and why these works hold special appeal for him.  You will also visit a much modified early 20th Century family home and view contemporary paintings, prints and objects, together with sculpture, pottery and furnishings. This fabulous eclectic collection has been acquired over 25 years, and reflects the owner’s diverse interests and enthusiasm.

Land, Sea & Silver

Saturday 17 March 2.30pm - 4.30pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre (arrives Breaker Bay 3pm)
Price: Price: $30; No Wheelchairs

Wellington painter Gerda Leenards and her partner, designer Lindsay Missen, invite the Friends to their home and studio at Breaker Bay to view their work.  Gerda emigrated from Holland to New Zealand in the late 1950’s.  Her visions of land, sea and sky evoke a sombre, romantic beauty, unmistakeably linked to the European painting tradition. Lindsay’s beautifully crafted jewellery carries multiple stories and quiet histories through to the present day. Over the past 25 years he has collected semi precious stones and antique materials and he fashions these into superbly made contemporary necklaces and rings.

More Kelburn Collections

Thursday 1 March 1.30pm - 4.00pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $30; No Wheelchairs; Walking; Stairs

Spend the afternoon with two more Kelburn collectors who will talk about their art collections and fascinating homes. One home incorporates a vaulted ceiling painted in the style of Giotto’s fresco in the upper chapel at Assisi, and art carefully chosen to complement the changes that have been made since it was built in the late 19th century. In the other, you will see a much-loved contemporary collection. Both homes have been superbly renovated and have stunning views over Wellington.

Te Aro - A Walk through Wellington's History

Friday 9 March 9.30am - 12.30pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $30; Walking

This energetic three-hour walk with historian Michael Kelly will cover some of the city's oldest and most interesting areas. You will explore Cuba Street with its side streets and alleys, spend some time in and around the National War Memorial and examine the military, industrial and educational history of the area, and walk the streets of Wellington's Old Chinatown. The Tour will then pass through Courtenay Place and finish with the lanes off Manners Street.

The History of Wellington's Waterfront - A Walking Tour

Friday 16 March 9.30am - 12.30pm
Meet outside Wellington Railway Station
Price: $30; Walking

Historian Michael Kelly leads this three-hour walk around Lambton Harbour, beginning at the grand Wellington Railway Station and ending at the modern Freyberg Pool in Oriental Bay. The walk takes in the many heritage buildings that have survived along the waterfront, and recalls their roles in the period when the port was the key to Wellington's prosperity and the wharves were a hive of activity.

The Simon Manchester Collection: Studio Ceramics

Friday 24 February 1.30pm - 3.00pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $25; No Wheelchairs; Walking

Art lover Simon Manchester will host a tour to view his extensive and diverse collection of New Zealand Studio Ceramics, housed in a large rooftop apartment in the middle of the city.  A visual feast based around pots from all periods of the Twentieth Century with an emphasis on large vessel forms, his collection includes cutting edge contemporary art, mid century design, sculpture and quirky objects d'art.  Simon conveys his passion for his collection with an absorbing talk, ensuring this is a memorable tour

The Supreme Court - The Architect’s Story (1)

Monday 27 February 10.00am - 11.30am
Lobby of the Supreme Court, cnr Lambton Quay & Ballance St
Price: $25; No Wheelchairs; Stairs

Project Architect Roy Wilson, from Warren and Mahoney Architects, will guide the Friends around the award winning Supreme Court. Taking you from the cells below to the upper areas not usually open to the public, he will share anecdotes and explain what was involved in the refurbishment of the historic court and the design and building process of the new court.

The Supreme Court - The Architect’s Story (2)

Monday 5 March 10.00am - 11.30am
Lobby of the Supreme Court, cnr Lambton Quay & Ballance St
Price: $25; No Wheelchairs; Stairs

Project Architect Roy Wilson, from Warren and Mahoney Architects, will guide you around the award winning Supreme Court. Taking you from the cells below to the upper areas not usually open to the public, he will share anecdotes and explain what was involved in the refurbishment of the historic court and the design and building process of the new court.

Victoria’s Art

Saturday 3 March 10.45am - 12.45pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $30; No Wheelchairs

Join Christina Barton, renowned writer, curator and art historian, on a most interesting treasure hunt around Victoria University to find and hear about the University's national significant collection of modern and contemporary New Zealand art. Highlights include stellar paintings by Colin McCahon, Frances Hodgkins and Ralph Hotere, acclaimed graphical works by Gordon Walters and Richard Killeen, and significant site-specific sculptures by Greer Twiss and Neil Dawson.

Visitors, Bystanders and Long Time Residents

Thursday 15 March 10.00am - 12.00pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $30; No Wheelchairs

With a particular focus on the work of Colin McCahon, Patrick Hayman, Ralph Hotere, Patricia France and M. T. Woollaston, this tour features a number of seldom-seen works by these and other New Zealand painters, all of whom have explored, in their different ways, life in this country. Poet, curator and artist Gregory O'Brien will share his thoughts on this collection, the many strands of art history which come together here, and the ongoing conversation these paintings have not only with each other but with anyone who visits his house.

Visual Treats

Friday 2 March 12.15pm - 1.45pm
Depart Michael Fowler Centre
Price: $25; Walking

Take one inner city apartment. Fill it with contemporary art and other collectibles. Add the nearby jewellery studio of Alison Blain. Multiply by a shared passion for visual treats. This popular tour at the last Festival provides a rare opportunity to enjoy the interests and imagination of two Wellingtonians.