Liz Boldt has been working in the arts for the past twenty years and is currently the co-ordinator of Eastside Gallery in Linwood. She brings a range of experiences to the role. An actor and administrator with a PhD in theatre and film and fifteen years at the University of Canterbury, most recently as Technical Director and Tutor for Film.
Eastside Gallery opened in 1997 in the former Linwood Library and is an important part of the Linwood Community Arts Centre, a project of Te Whare Roimata Trust, a not-for-profit, Treaty-based community development organisation focussed upon community well-being.
Boldt says that she is looking forward to developing Eastside’s exhibition programme and its art classes. ‘The whole Kaupapa of Te Whare Roimata Trust is that this space is accessible. That is why the costs for artists to use spaces is low. We are providing a platform for new and emerging artists and we have four centre-run exhibitions every year. One of those is First Steps which is coming up soon. It is our Autumn exhibition and it supports and showcases new and emerging artists. I have had the most amazing response to the exhibition from artists and would like to tie it in to the artist’s development courses at Eastside.’
‘Eastside’s Multicultural Exhibition is also an annual event, celebrating cultural diversity it is held in conjunction with the popular Multicultural Festival in the Doris Lusk Park next to the Gallery. In Winter we have Te Whare Maire O Nga Punawerewere, a Māori art exhibition held to coincide with Matariki and in Spring we have Trash to Treasure which has been going for a decade. This year I am hoping to work in with an academic from Lincoln University who is a scientist and an artist, to bring those two things together. The idea of Trash to Treasure was probably a little bit more radical ten years ago than it is now so I am looking at involving that idea in the exhibition. I like the idea of bringing science and art together.’
Around its four annual exhibitions, the centre also holds shows selected from artists’ proposals. It also has a relatively new mini exhibition space available in the Craftroom. A more informal space that is free to exhibit in, with bookings available at a shorter notice than the main Gallery.
Through the opportunities it provides for artists, Eastside contributes to the city’s arts infrastructure, developing and providing support for artists and the communities of the East side of Ōtautahi Christchurch.
‘In terms of planning who comes in here, we put a call out about August and proposals come in about September and we make a decision for October for the following year. A panel then sits down and decides the programme. Made up of established artists and people coming from the charitable end of what we do. The Te Whare Roimata Trust has amazing tentacles. We have community gardens where we provide fresh vegetables for the locals and we have a labour pool that helps people shift house if they cannot afford a moving truck.’
‘We also want to be available to this community, the East of the city and make this its space. The whole .of Christchurch is welcome here, but I like to see that gallery’s door open and people walking past and then come in. You can always tell by how they walk through the door if it is the first time. The whole aim of Eastside Gallery is its accessibility.’
388 Worcester Street
Linwood, Christchurch 801
- Trash to Treasure 10th Anniversary exhibition, 13 to 29 November 2019