Arts Patron and Gallery Honoured

Published: Mon 20 Jul 2009 05:30 PM
Arts Patron and Gallery Honoured
Adrienne, Lady Stewart has been honoured for her prolific philanthropic support of the arts at a ceremony in Christchurch. On the same evening the Arts Foundation announced the Govett¬-Brewster Art Gallery as a recipient of an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Governors’ Award.
A motivated advocate for private support of the arts, Adrienne Lady Stewart is the recipient of the 2009 Arts Foundation of New Zealand Award for Patronage, presented by Perpetual Trust. Adrienne, Lady Stewart has been given $20,000 by the Arts Foundation to distribute to artists or arts projects of her choice.
In line with previous recipients of the Award, Adrienne, Lady Stewart has announced she will double the fund and distribute $40,000 to four high profile donation recipients. Choreographer Raewyn Hill, Conductor Holly Mathieson, Composer Philip Norman, and the Art & Industry Biennial Trust will each receive $10,000.
The annual Award for Patronage honours philanthropists who actively contribute to the arts in New Zealand. Private support for the arts is crucial to its survival and the Arts Foundation hopes this Award will inspire others to donate to the arts.
Selected by Arts Foundation Governors, the Governors’ Award recognises an individual or institution that has contributed in a significant way to the development of the arts and artists in New Zealand.
Governors acknowledged the commitment by the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery to the cause of contemporary art, particularly from New Zealand. Governors noted that the Gallery has unswervingly followed a path of presenting leading edge contemporary art and that a succession of able directors has brought to New Plymouth a programme that one might more readily have expected in one of New Zealand’s larger cities.
Ros Burdon, Arts Foundation Chairman congratulated Adrienne, Lady Stewart and the Govett-Brewster on receiving their awards. “The Arts Foundation is proud to be honouring the achievements of two critical supporters of the arts in New Zealand”, she said.
Adrienne, Lady Stewart is a strategic philanthropist who directs her support to assist individual artists and projects so that great artistic works can be created. In providing support to artists and projects Adrienne, Lady Stewart is also contributing to the development of the arts in New Zealand.
“It is vital that New Zealand has a vibrant arts culture to involve not only our residents but overseas visitors. We have such a diverse cultural mix, which is on show to the world. I am happy to be involved in raising consciousness about the arts. Art makes you think and tells us about who we are, enriching our communities in every sense of the word,” Adrienne, Lady Stewart said.
Presenting Sponsor of the Award for Patronage, Perpetual Trust has 125 year’s experience in managing charitable trusts. Chief Executive, Louise Edwards said, “Perpetual Trust understands the value of charitable giving throughout society. Adrienne, Lady Stewart has been a huge supporter of charitable causes particularly in the Canterbury region, but also throughout the country for over 40 years, and is an extremely deserving recipient of the Award for Patronage.”
On receiving the Governors’ Award current Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Director Rhana Devenport said “the gallery is deeply honoured by the recognition of its courageous contributions to the cultural landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand over the past four decades. Art is the essence of what it is to be human, and it’s wonderful that this belief has been so resoundingly acknowledged by the Arts Foundation.”
Neil Paviour-Smith, Managing Director of the Arts Foundation’s Principal Sponsor, Forsyth Barr, also congratulated both recipients. “As Principal Sponsor and managers of the Arts Foundation’s Endowment Fund, we’re pleased the Award for Patronage provides the opportunity to celebrate a significant patron and the Governors’ Award acknowledges an institution that has gone the extra distance in promoting New Zealand arts. Both are contributing to our cultural landscape in immeasurable ways. We are delighted to celebrate Adrienne, Lady Stewart's significant achievements and contributions to the arts as a patron and philanthropist and congratulate all those who have contributed to the success of the Govett Brewster Art Gallery.”
Adrienne, Lady Stewart
Adrienne, Lady Stewart was born in Melbourne, Australia and schooled at Presbyterian Ladies’ College in Melbourne, before arriving in New Zealand aged 19. She married Sir Robertson Stewart CBE JSM (now deceased) and was one of the country’s first women to be a public company director. She was a major shareholder and former director of PDL Holdings Ltd and associated group of companies, being involved in industry and commerce for 40 years. Over this time, she held a number of important positions in both the Christchurch region and nationally.
Career highlights include: Trustee – Canterbury Savings Bank (1980–85); Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors; Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management; National Fund-raising Co-ordinator Operation Raleigh (1984–1989); Regional Adviser – New Zealand Charitable Foundation; Executive Member of the Cancer Society of New Zealand – Canterbury and Westland Division (fund-raising for ten years); Patron of the New Zealand Special Olympics (2005); and past-President and member of the Zonta Club of Christchurch since 1974.
She is currently Governing Patron of the Art & Industry Biennial Trust (responsible for promoting SCAPE – a biennial contemporary art exhibition); Chair of the Christchurch Symphony Foundation; a long-term judge of the NBR Awards for Sponsorship of the Arts; a member of the University of Canterbury College of Arts External Advisory Panel; and member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and Christchurch Cathedral Foundation. She is a Canon Almoner, and Patron of the Court Theatre, Hohepa Trust, the Sumner Lifeboat Inc and the Sumner/Ferrymead Foundation and is Founding Patron of Raewyn Hill & Dancers (Soapbox Productions).
Adrienne, Lady Stewart has been an extremely generous and long-standing supporter, promoter, fund-raiser and patron of most arts organisations in the city of Christchurch. She has hosted numerous events in her home in support of arts organisations in the city, a tradition she continues today. As The Press commented in December 2008, “Lady Stewart is a benefactor, campaign organiser and persuasive lobbyist. The impact of Adrienne, Lady Stewart’s indomitable personality and good sense is pervasive throughout the Christchurch community. Forthright and focused, she uses a seemingly endless list of national and international contacts to good advantage.”
Significant donations have been made individually and in partnership with her husband to the Canterbury Museum, which houses the Sir Robertson Stewart Hall of Antarctic Discovery; the Christchurch Art Gallery; Canterbury Opera/ Southern Opera; the Christchurch Arts Centre; Local Heroes Sculpture Project; the Christchurch Arts Festival 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009; the Christchurch Symphony Foundation; the Court Theatre, Christchurch; the Dame Malvina Major Foundation; the Isaac Theatre Royal Charitable Trust; Saint Andrew’s College (the Stewart Music Suite); Stewart Plaza Redevelopment Sculpture 2008; Art & Industry SCAPE 2006 and 2008; the University of Canterbury Foundation, School of Fine Arts Platform Festival; and the Christchurch Cathedral Choir UK Tour 2008.
Grants have also been made to a range of artists, community projects and emerging artists, including Anastasiya
Filypochkina for Personal Development at the Eastman School in the USA; Kirsten Simpson, pianist, Royal School of Music; Raewyn Hill (Choreographer and Artistic Director) Artist in Residence, Hong Kong Performing Arts Centre; Hugh Cho Tak Po, Adrienne, Lady Stewart Scholarship and Piers Lane (Artistic Director), the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. Although much of Adrienne, Lady Stewart’s patronage has been in the Christchurch region, she has also provided support nationally, such as to Chamber Music New Zealand, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Royal New Zealand Ballet Partners Programme, the National Youth Choir and as Patron of the Venice Biennale (2009).
Previous Recipients of the Award for Patronage
Previous recipients of the Award for Patronage are Denis and Verna Adam (2006), Dame Jenny Gibbs (2007) and Gillian and Roderick Deane (2008).
2009 Recipient of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand Governors’ Award
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
Established through a bequest and Trust Deed from the forward-thinking New Plymouth resident Monica Brewster, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery has become a contemporary art museum recognised internationally for its global vision and special commitment to the Pacific. The gallery maintains its own contemporary art collection and the collection of modernist filmmaker and kinetic sculptor Len Lye, in addition to presenting a dynamic exhibitions and events programme. Considered a pathfinder in this country’s cultural landscape, it works to foster the development and interpretation of contemporary art by developing new audiences and new possibilities for artists within contemporary culture.
As the Govett-Brewster moves towards its 40th anniversary in 2010, it is launching a vigorous programme including offering its collection online, a new website, celebrating its history in a major publication and undertaking ambitious exhibitions, acquisitions and events.
Previous Governors’ Award Recipients
Two previous Governors’ Awards have been made. The inaugural recipient was the University of Otago – in recognition of its significant contribution to the arts community since 1958 through its Burns, Hodgkins and Mozart Fellowships. The three fellowships were set up through the generosity of anonymous benefactors and have subsequently been funded by additional grants to maintain their value. The second presentation was made to Concert FM (now Radio New Zealand Concert) for the significant contribution made by the organisation in supporting, encouraging and promoting New Zealand composers, musicians, writers and actors at a national level. Concert FM’s contribution to the arts through its recording collaborations and the Douglas Lilburn Prize (a joint Concert FM and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra initiative) was also recognised.
Recipients of donations to celebrate the Award for Patronage
The Art & Industry Biennial Trust
The Art & Industry Biennial Trust organises the SCAPE Christchurch Biennial of Art in Public Space, New Zealand’s premier biennial dealing with art in public space. It has established a vital platform for both national and international artists to develop dynamic, lively and progressive artworks.
SCAPE has a legacy of high impact public art in Christchurch. Its gifting programme of seven permanent artworks and commissioning of more than 150 temporary public artworks has enhanced the urban centre and raised the profile for public art in Christchurch. A major specialty of SCAPE artworks is the process of matching artists with industry, materials, intellectual property and resources to enable the production of new innovative artworks, activating and involving communities in the exploration of contemporary public art.
The next event, SCAPE 2010, will be the sixth Christchurch Biennial presented by the Art & Industry Biennial Trust and will run from 24 September to 7 November 2010. This will be a compelling display of concentrated public artworks by artists from New Zealand and overseas and is sure to fascinate and excite Christchurch locals and visitors.
The donation received by Adrienne, Lady Stewart through the Arts Foundation of New Zealand Award for Patronage will be used for a new dedicated education and public
programme component for SCAPE 2010.
Raewyn Hill, Choreographer
Raewyn Hill was born in 1972 in Oamaru, and spent her childhood in a number of small towns in the South Island.
Graduating from the New Zealand School of Dance in 1992 with the Best All Round Student Award, she was subsequently named on the distinguished Honours Board in recognition of her commitment to dance in New Zealand.
Over an 18-year career, Raewyn has become one of New Zealand’s foremost contemporary dance-theatre practitioners. Throughout her professional career as an artist, she has received numerous awards and accolades from critics and audiences throughout Australasia. Her widely acclaimed solo show When Love Comes Calling had a sell-out season at the Sydney Opera House Studio Theatre.
In April 2009, Raewyn Hill and Dancers premiered a new full-length work, Finders Keepers, which is touring New Zealand throughout 2009. Until July 2009, Raewyn was the Artist in Residence at the School of Dance Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Raewyn premiered a new contemporary dance work, Vespers, at the inaugural Asia Pacific Dance Platform, as a part of the 37th Hong Kong Arts Festival in February 2009. The inclusion of her work in one of the world’s premier arts festivals signalled a landmark in her career. Continuing to build her international profile, Raewyn is the first New Zealander to be awarded a prestigious Cité International des Arts residency in Paris, which she will take up from August 2009. As well, Raewyn has been invited to create a graduation work in 2010 for New York’s prestigious performing arts conservatoire The Juilliard School.
In November, Raewyn has been invited to set Vespers on the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, which will be performed at
The Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia. She has also been appointed the new director of contemporary dance company Dancenorth in Townsville, Australia, from January 2010.
Philip Norman, Composer
Philip Norman is a full-time freelance musician and composer with works commissioned or performed by most of the leading music, theatre and ballet companies in New Zealand. Born in Christchurch in 1953, educated in Masterton and the University of Canterbury with a PhD in Musicology, Philip also trained at Christchurch Teachers College. Since 1974 his roles have included being principal music reviewer for the Christchurch Press; Co-Founder and Director of Nota Bene Music Publishing Co; committee member, secretary and president of the Composers’ Association of New Zealand; Musical Director of the Christchurch School of Instrumental Music and Composer-in-Residence with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, the only composer to have held a residency with that orchestra.
Philip has composed and arranged well over 200 pieces including stage musicals, ballet, choral, orchestral and opera works which are amongst the most performed by a New Zealand composer in their fields. As a writer, he compiled three editions of the Bibliography of New Zealand Compositions which formed the beginnings of the SOUNZ computer database of New Zealand composers and compositions. His biography, Douglas Lilburn: His Life and Music won the Biography category of the 2007 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. He worked on a general history of New Zealand composition while the Ursula Bethell Creative Writer in Residence at the University of Canterbury English Department.
Holly Mathieson
Holly Mathieson completed a first-class honours degree at Otago University in 2001 and, two years later, graduated with a master’s in orchestral conducting from the University of Melbourne Conservatorium under the tutelage of Professor John Hopkins, OBE. Since 2004, she has been based in Dunedin, working as a freelance conductor and writing a PhD in music iconography.
Most recently, Holly conducted Opera Otago’s critically acclaimed season of Cosi fan Tutte at the 2008 Otago Festival of the Arts, her fourth appearance with that company. She also assisted conductor Tecwyn Evans in the University of Otago’s productions of Madama Butterfly (2003) and Carmen (2006) and conducted the Southern Sinfonia’s Last Night of the Proms in 2005 and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra for the Air New Zealand Wine Awards in 2007.
In addition to her work as Artistic Director of the Solid Energy Ensemble of Southern Opera, Holly continues to lecture in conducting at the University of Otago, is the editor of the English edition of Serbian music journal New Sound and hopes to complete her PhD this year.

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