Arts centre revamp produces the Artery
Alternative art and performance comes of age in Nelson today with the official opening of the Artery, home of the Nelson Community Arts Centre.
The extended, revamped arts centre in New St is the result of months of planning, lobbying and hard work by a team led by manager Dave White, who took over a then-struggling arts centre almost two years ago.
Nelson Mayor Philip Woollaston was to cut the ribbon at a ceremony at 4pm, followed by a blessing from the Rev Richard Wallace.
Afternoon tea would follow in the centre's Metallic Cafe, with entertainment by techno-jazz band Minuit and stilt-walking fire-performers. Special guests include the man who established the centre in 1991, Dave Muir.
The entertainment continues at 9pm with Hyper, a dance party organised by the people behind the Gathering, featuring three dance zones and props from the big event itself.
Mr White said that as well as providing a super-soundproofed music performance hall perfect for all-night dance parties, the Artery provided a new venue for exhibitions in Nelson. It is already booked through to mid-November.
Photographs by Ruth Parsons, a pictorial record of life at the centre over the past few months, will be on display in the cafe until October 17.
Watch Out It Moves, a collection of moving art objects by a variety of artists, is on for two weeks in the theatre space.
Valeska Campion's mosaic sculpture Eat Your Art Out, which is taking shape on the building's exterior, will also be launched today. Construction and installation will continue throughout summer.
Mr White said that in the past the centre had been accused of being "specialist", but it now had a wider appeal, especially with the addition of the performance cafe.