We’re really spoilt at MTG Hawke’s Bay with an exceptionally talented team of dedicated staff and supporters so I thought I’d talk about just a few examples all from this week.
Currently the display team are dismantling The House of Webb exhibition to make way for a new display titled Rongonui: Taonga mai ngā tāngata, ngā wāhi, me ngā takahanga, Treasured taonga from people, places and events. This new exhibition is based on what we hold in the collection, and pulls out the special taonga - telling the stories around these. I’m always delighted with the design look and feel that the team create, from the use of colour to the layout within the space and the way they use design to support the story and enhance the taonga on display. Rongonui will open to the public on Saturday 30 November.
Not only do we have talented and dedicated staff we also have the benefit of an enormous pool of external experts and supporters. One such person is Roy Dunningham. Roy has had a connection to the museum since the 1960s and has watched the development of the art collection since that time. Yesterday Roy kindly allowed us to film his museum story, which provides a real insight into how the collection was shaped and developed over time - including some of the politics that came into play. Not only is Roy a fountain of knowledge he has also been a real champion and supporter and has certainly encouraged me in what we are doing here at MTG.
I’m now also involved with the Faraday Centre and, again, exceptionally lucky to have a very talented and passionate manager, Sharyn Phillips, who is working really hard to help ensure the Faraday Centre gets the love and care it needs. Supporting Sharyn are a fabulous group of volunteers who work hard to keep the place running smoothly. This includes maintaining the machinery and items on display, welcoming visitors into the centre and assisting them in working the hands-on elements (for example most children do not know how a dial telephone works without a little help). Yesterday the Faraday Centre volunteers received a Council award for all the hard work they do. If you haven’t been to visit the Faraday Centre yet it’s a great experience – a fun place for children and full of memories for others.
Also this week, we’ve had a revamp of the museum retail space. Our shop has been going from strength to strength with Lisa Varga in charge. Lisa has picked-up on work initiated by Amanda Sye, who is responsible for all our visitor engagement – education, retail, customer service, marketing, events and public programmes. The result is a fresh looking retail space, with great ideas for presents for everyone in your family, from young to old, and plenty of stocking stuffers as well. There’s something for everyone’s budget and some great bargains including fabulous summer reading, such as Speeches that Shaped New Zealand1814-1956, games for the children, for example Taniwha and Ladders, and even something for gardeners with our environmentally friendly grow bags. All products purchased in the museum shop help support us in the delivery of arts and culture to the community through exhibitions, public programmes, education and much more.
Image: The MTG Hawke's Bay gift shop
10 November 2019
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