A new heart for Nelson art
A few words from the Nelson Mayor Philip Woollaston, a karakia by the Reverend Richard Wallace and a sprinkle of magic dust from stilt-walking fairies marked the opening of the Artery in Nelson yesterday.
The revamped Nelson Community Arts Centre on New St was officially opened by Mr Woollaston at a brief ceremony at 4pm.
Centre manager Dave White dyed his hair purple and donned a shiny gold jacket over his black T-shirt for the occasion. He thanked all those associated with the centre and the groups which had contributed money to its redevelopment.
Mr Woollaston cut a bunch of strings which sent a papier mache face bouncing above the entrance to the centre, and declared the centre open. The crowd of more than 100 then followed Reverend Wallace as he walked through the centre blessing it. Entertainment from techno-jazz band Minuit followed.
Along with a super-soundproofed performance venue, the Artery's features include a performance cafe, exhibition space and two recording studios.
Two exhibitions were opened yesterday - photographs by Ruth Parsons, a pictorial record of life at the centre over the past few months, and Watch Out It Moves, a collection of moving art objects by a variety of artists.
The celebrations continued into the wee small hours with a dance party, Hyper, featuring props from The Gathering.
Mr White previously said the purchase of the buildings and the redevelopment would cost about $570,000. Grants had covered more than half the cost, but the centre would have a $200,000 mortgage, financed by the Nelson City Council, to pay off over 20 years, he said. Finishing work is continuing, and a giant mosaic facade will be completed over summer.