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In a world first, Parliament TV to air art exhibitions

New Zealand will become the first country in the world to showcase art exhibitions on its state-owned parliamentary TV channel.

In partnership with the Urban Art Foundation, New Zealand’s Parliament TV will air art exhibitions for the 275 days a year when Parliament is not sitting.

These aired exhibitions will be curated work from archives of museums, municipal art galleries, corporate and private collections and private audience art gallery exhibitions.

Over the past five years, the Urban Art Foundation has worked alongside artists, art and education experts, government and commercial gallery curators, private collectors and outdoor media company, oOh!media to showcase exhibitions through digital signs and TV screens in public places, but now they are set to take the next step.

Andrew Hagen, Founder of the Urban Art Foundation, a charitable trust, says that they have focused on providing access to Kiwis who are unable to see this art.

Clerk of the House, David Wilson, worked alongside the Urban Art Exhibitions to get the work featured on Parliament TV when the House is not sitting.

Michael Smither, Rocks… to Break, 1966.

“This is a transformational change in the New Zealand art environment, making art more accessible, breaking down the socioeconomic barriers, and making the expectation to view art a right of every Kiwi,” says Hagen.

“New Zealand is the first country in the world where art can be viewed and enjoyed by every citizen, 24 hours a day for 275 days of the year.”

Read more: Kiwi artist’s work to be projected on Eiffel Tower and Times Square

Hagen adds that with New Zealand ratepayers owning half a billion dollars’ worth of art, people can access art they usually might not have a chance to see in person from their own residence.

“Like many countries, a lack of exhibition space means only a token amount, around 7 percent, is able to be shown,” adds Hagen.  

“We’re proud to be changing that with our unique collaboration with oOh!media NZ, utilising their rapidly expanding digital network and now with Parliament TV, people can access art they usually might not have a chance to see in person from their own residence.”

Zena Elliott, Lines, lines and more lines, 2011.

Alongside the art, Parliament TV will also feature music by New Zealand composers, as well as interviews with artists, curators, judges and gallery directors.

Some of the art featured will be taken from the Barry Hopkins Collection, Wellington City Council Art Collection, Melvin Day Centennial Exhibition, the 2023 Kiingi Tuheitia Portraiture Award, among others.

“It has been wonderful to have a selection of the Waikato Museum Visual Arts Collection displayed on Parliament TV and working with the Urban Art Foundation. It is great to have national exposure for our collection and for people who wouldn’t have the opportunity to visit us see some of the gems in our collection,” says Collections and Curatorial Manager for Waikato Museum Anita Robertson.

“This partnership will bring New Zealand art to screens across the country, helping to make it more accessible than ever. A win-win for our arts sector,” adds Hagen.

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