Christchurch quake art group gets $100k grant
Wed, 11 Jul 2012 2:09p.m.
By 3 News online staff
A charitable trust that creates temporary art installations in vacant Christchurch lots has received a Creative New Zealand grant worth $100,000, over two years.
Gap Filler, an “urban art regenerative initiative”, aims to bring colour and life back to Christchurch’s quake-ravaged central city.
A silver lining to earthquake devastation
Founder Coralie Winn started the initiative on a voluntary basis after losing her job following the September 2010 quake.
She says after a successful start the project gained some funding which allowed her to “keep [her] head above water”. Last year the project became a charitable trust and received funding from the Christchurch City Council.
The trust now employs Ms Winn full-time, along with one other project manager and a part-time worker.
Ms Winn says the works spans both art and community and are about connecting people with their city and creating places of beauty.
“There are a lot of people out there who aren’t builders or construction workers or architects or planners; people who aren’t directly involved in the rebuild but would love to get involved [and feel] like they are contributing,” she says.
Recent projects include a 37 metre-long painting on the side of a building and a coin operated dance floor.
Ms Winn says despite the abundance of vacant properties around the city, finding land for the projects can be tough.
“It can take ages to find the landowners and talk to them. Even just finding a phone number to be able have a conversation can take ages,” she says.
“Now we are a bit more well-known we’re starting to see landowners come to us more often which is good, because we would rather be putting out time into making projects happen rather than chasing landowners.”
She hopes the art projects can inspire young people to stay in the city.
“I think Gap Filler definitely has a role for encouraging young people to stick around.”
A role now made a whole lot easier thanks to the $100,000 boost.
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