Brown Bread

Populate! Christchurch with Art

Choose a theme

Copy (Ctrl C) the code below

Closed, but Open!

Yes, from looking at our shiny façade, you may have thought we were open. But we're closed. We have been for two years, and Cantabrians face another two years of no Art Gallery. That's FOUR YEARS WITH NO MAJOR ART GALLERY IN CHRISTCHURCH! We're doing our best to bring art to the city with our Outer Spaces projects. And because IT'S OUR TENTH BIRTHDAY IN MAY, even though we can't invite you into our building, we thought we'd still throw a party for the city to enjoy (and so MORE PEOPLE can see MORE ART).

Help us with Populate!

Christchurch needs an art boost. To celebrate our tenth birthday, Christchurch Art Gallery is inviting a vivid cast of characters to town. Populate! is a new wave of works of art we're planning for the transitional spaces of the city, to be launched on our birthday weekend at the end of the May School holidays.

Populate! includes around a dozen new artworks - from cartoon figures crowding all over a wall, to an enigmatic face on a billboard, through to a sculpted figure standing high on a rooftop, and a very heavy metal gnome. As well as marking our birthday, Populate! will respond to the post-quake setting, bringing faces and figures (and some bursts of humour and strangeness) to the depopulated inner-city. We also want to produce a way-finding trail for Populate!, as well as to host various public events and tours along the way.

How will this make a difference?

We're thrilled that the Arts Foundation has chosen to support this initiative and, with your support, Christchurch Art Gallery can 'populate' more of Christchurch's empty spaces. Elements of Populate! are already being planned, but to deliver more faces for the people of Christchurch and to develop trail signage, we need a hand-up. Help the Arts Foundation help us populate as many spaces as possible and, in turn, help Populate! our broken central city with people who can have fun meeting this cast of characters in the most unlikely of places.


Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu




    Well, with three days to go and 47 per cent of our target still to find, we have to say we were sweating it a little – not sure if we'd get to our $25,000 funding goal.  But today, the anxiety is now over! 

    Christchurch Casino - 'you complete us'.  With a giant $12,000 donation you've 'pushed us over the edge', by getting us to 103 per cent funding of our project.  This, matched with an equally generous donation from IAG, and 20 other amazing personal donors, means our first ever Boosted project has been a success.  Nice one.

    Thank you all for backing more public art in Christchurch.  With the weather turning a little grim today, the thought of colourful art beginning to pop up around the city from 11 May as part of the Populate! programme is very comforting.

  • Everyone Loves a Party...


    Dear Boosted Donors.

    We're counting down....with 9 more days until the end of our Boosted campaign for Populate!  And only 16 more days until our tenth Birthday Party!! Please mark 11th of May in your diaries (from noon) to come down to High Street where we're throwing a public party with music, an 'Imagination Playground' for kids, candyfloss (its a party!), tours of our new Populate! programme, gallery give-aways and A MASSIVE DOSE OF MAGENTA PINK!  Its a free for all....

    BUT, wait! There's more! As brave boosted donors, we'd also like to invite you to a special pre-party the night before to thank you for helping us on our way with boosted and the Populate! programme.  The Gallery will officially open the Populate programme on its actual tenth birthday, Friday 10 May.  Please join us 6pm at NG Gallery, 212 Madras St for bubbles and cup cakes to celebrate.

    If you are keen to come Friday night, you'll need to rsvp to and we'll send you out a 'proper' invitation.

    Party, Party, Party...!

  • Woah...'Hold The Phone'!


    Hello Boosted friends!

    Today we received a very nice surprise: a generous boost from IAG to our Populate! project!

    Their sizeable donation has us over the half way mark towards our $25K ask!  Thank you IAG. It now means we can bring a few more characters to town for our tenth birthday programme.  We'll update you soon on what's coming, but in the mean time, keep an eye out on Populate! news at the Gallery's very informative 'Bunker Notes'.

    Roll on, tell your mates, we've only got 15 days left to reach our project goal.  

    You'll hear from us soon!




  • How to Populate!


    Hi Populate! Boosted Supporters.

    Ever wondered about the logistics of public art?! Peter Stichbury's NDE is one of our first 'characters' to be installed in preparation for the Gallery's Birthday Programme, Populate! (of which you people have been good enough to support).  The work is now hovering over Worcester Boulevard, attached to the 'closed, but open' Christchurch Art Gallery building. 

    Follow the 'transformation of art to public art' here, at the Gallery's Bunker Notes:  

    So - our total donations are creeping up there with Boosted, and with two weeks to go - we're very grateful for your support, and if we can 'get there' we have a few extra surprises to bring to the Populate! Programme and Christchurch on 11 May (our tenth birthday).  

    Please spread the word for us, and standby for more updates!





    How to Populate!
  • Gallery's Outer Spaces Grabs the BIG Award


    Christchurch Art Gallery's Team has just achieved national recognition for their Outer Spaces Programme by winning a prestigious Museums Aotearoa Award last night - taking out the Project Achievement Award Exhibition Excellence – Art. Not only are you - our Boosted funders - showing your respect and acknowledgement of the team's hard work, but the Gallery's peers are also recognising the team's efforts. That has to feel good. Thanks donors for donating to an 'award winning' programme. From the 'official Press Release'... Christchurch Art Gallery director Jenny Harper is pleased with the win, which shows the Gallery is operating at a high level nationally despite the challenges it has faced since the earthquakes. “It is always good to get recognition - but there’s something special about receiving awards from your peers. We have won a number of Museums Aotearoa Awards in the past and it is important to maintain our high standards as we continue bringing art to the people of Christchurch even though our building is closed.” “Our aim was to launch art into what were truly ‘outer spaces’ by our usual measures – shop fronts, vacant lots, empty windows and newly exposed transitional spaces in the post-quake cityscape,” Ms Harper says. “With so much unsettlement in the city, our aim was simply to introduce some moments of colour, wonder and humour; to create some space for reflection and imagination.” The Gallery is continuing to develop its Outer Spaces programme through its upcoming Populate! exhibition – being run to celebrate its 10th birthday in May. Money is currently being raised through the Arts Foundation’s new national arts crowd funding website – – which will be used to ensure more temporary art works are made accessible for Populate!

  • Thank You!


    We just wanted to say... THANK YOU to our first 10 donors!! We'll call you our Top 10 from now on.... We've been relatively 'shouty' over the past week in Christchurch, out and about telling people that we are 'Closed, but Open' (yes, we decided to 'own it'), yet on the other hand, we've also been rather shy in telling people about our Boosted project. We like to do things right. We're tweaking a few things on the site....but we're getting to a point where we'd love your help to spread the word. Christchurch needs more art (!) - and if your friends give, we'll give Christchurch more art through Populate! Thank you 'top 10'. We hope you'll enjoy the rewards come 10 May, and watch out for updates as we start building towards 10 May's new show: Populate!

    Thank You!

Brown Bread

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu is in a striking building in the heart of Christchurch. We pride ourselves on being an important part of the cultural life of this city and of New Zealand as a whole – an attraction to which visitors return again and again.

View profile

Image for Brown Bread