Art enthusiasts who wish to follow their hobby visiting the most popular exhibitions, may sometimes be disappointed to discover the entry fee is more than expected. Families, in particular, may be deterred from attending due to the cost. Fortunately, several galleries have come to realise that in the long run, it makes economic sense to allow free entry. After all, some visitors may choose to buy a piece of artwork, benefiting everybody. And, of course, they will encourage others to visit.
The Exhibitions Gallery of Fine Art actually has two locations, one in Wellington, and one in Auckland. Both are free of charge to enter, and are locally owned and operated. Their displays change on a monthly basis, and most of the artwork is for sale, offering collectors the chance to buy from exhibited artists. Recent shows have featured Tim Hackett, Mervin Singham and Terry Ferguson.
The Wairarapa Museum of Art and History is known for its vast collection of both regional and international artworks, including a Barbara Hepworth sculpture, which was the initial piece that started the museum. The popular exhibitions change regularly, and often include a talk by the artist, eager to share their enthusiasm with visitors. A donation to enter the museum is suggested.
The New Zealand Maritime Museum is free for residents of Auckland, offering the locals a chance to immerse themselves in unique stories of exploration, sailing and discovery. Not only are there extensive galleries, displays and exhibitions, but on the water, experiences are available too. Within the museum, the Edmiston Gallery hosts exhibitions, often inspired by real-life encounters with the sea, including folk art, photography, paintings, ship’s souvenirs and flags.
The world of art can be discovered at little or no cost, leading to a lifetime of appreciating this vital part of the culture of New Zealand.