Gallery open again

by Kent Caddick

The lights are back on at the Selwyn art gallery in Darfield following the completion of earthquake repairs.

A reopening evening was held last Friday, which doubled as the opening of the first exhibition at the gallery after repairs were carried out on the 90-year-old building, which was built in 1927 to house the Malvern Electric Power Board offices.

The building is now owned by power company Orion, and for the past 17 years it has been home to the Selwyn Gallery, which is managed by the Malvern Community Arts Council.

                                Whitecliffs potter Roger Chaplin with some of
                                  his work on display at the Selwyn Gallery

Orion CEO Rob Jamieson said they were pleased to be able to return the building to the community. 

“The Selwyn gallery is an essential part of the history of both Darfield and Orion,” Mr Jamieson said.

“The earthquakes taught us all that a strong sense of community is indispensable, and it was important to both Orion and the wider Darfield community that the building be repaired.

“With many historic buildings lost in the area, it was a good opportunity to play a part in the refurbishment of a treasured local community facility. “We are pleased to give the building a new lease on life so it can continue to provide a showcase for local artists for years to come.”

MCAC chairperson Terri Elder acknowledged the support of Orion, the group’s major sponsor.

                           Linda McGregor from Orion reopens the Selwyn Gallery in 
                                Darfield following earthquake repairs to the building

“The efficiency of the renovations by their building team was brilliant and I would also like to thank MCAC volunteers for their work in the packing and unpacking of the gallery.”

Repairs included repairing the gallery ceilings, wall linings, exterior brickwork and repainting. Some structural steel was also added to strengthen the 1960s addition to the original brick building.

The first exhibition to be held in the renovated gallery features work by Whitecliffs potter Roger Chaplin along with painters Heather Johnson and Carol Moffat. 

The exhibition entitled A Different Landscape will run through until March 30.