For the past 20 years two paintings of old Waiheke have graced the wall of the Oneroa Post Shop.
The paintings were two from a suite of three commissioned by NZ Post from Jan Nigro who had lived for over 25 years on Waiheke. The third painting was donated to the Waiheke Community Art Gallery at the time of completion.
Recently the three paintings have been re-united and are now installed in the Gallery Foyer, as NZ Post has gifted them to the gallery’s permanent collection.
“The gallery seemed to the perfect place for them to be,” said Dale Griffin, Manager Kiwibank/New Zealand Post, Waiheke. "The gift coincided with a refit of our premises and considering the number of national and international visitors that the gallery receives we felt the beautiful light filled images would give people a glimpse into an earlier era on Waiheke.”
Alex Stone, Chair of the gallery formally received NZ Post’s donation at last Friday’s exhibition opening and commented "These paintings are a wonderful donation and represent the cornerstone of the gallery’s permanent collection.”
He said the gallery plans to build a permanent collection that is both relevant to Waiheke and to the rest of New Zealand. The themes for the permanent collection are; maquettes from Headland Sculpture on the Gulf, gifted works from Waiheke Artists in Residence and local artists who have spent considerable years living here. Already there are several Headland maquettes and last year we were gifted works by our 'OZ to Waiheke' visiting artists. These major works by Jan Nigro, are significant as they are the focal point of the gallery's Waiheke collection.
“We are hoping with the help of a grant to get some restoration work done on the paintings, as after 20 years they are looking a bit dry, and could do with some repairs and added protection”, he continued.
If people have significant works they would like to leave to the gallery's permanent collection or to make a donation towards it they should contact director Linda Chalmers.