Art exhibition raising funds for church restoration

Thirty-five Dunedin and Otago artists are supporting a Polish cultural group’s bid to raise funds for to renovate Broad Bay’s historic Church of Mary Queen of Peace.

The artists provided 86 works for an exhibition, titled ‘‘An Artistic View: From Dunedin With Love’’, which starts today at the Community Art Gallery, in Princes St, Dunedin, and runs until March 11.

Partly named after an art work by Dunedin visual artist Maria Kemp, the exhibition uses a ‘‘From Dunedin with Love’’ slogan, from one of her works.

The Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust treasurer Cecylia Klobukowska said the trust was displaying the art works, on behalf of Dunedin and Otago artists, who were paying a commission on sales.

The money raised would be used to repaint the church interior, after exterior repainting was completed.

The Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust secretary Anna McCreath Munro (left) ...
The Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust secretary Anna McCreath Munro (left) , treasurer Cecylia Klobukowska and chairwoman Ewa Rozecka-Pollard, with From Dunedin with Love, an art work by Dunedin artist Maria Kemp, while an exhibition, celebrating Otago artists, was prepared at the Community Art Gallery, Dunedin, yesterday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The renovations will be undertaken before planned celebrations next year, to mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first members of Otago’s Polish community, aboard the sailing vessel Palmerston in 1872.

Trust organisers said that 19th century Polish immigrants to Otago and Southland contributed to the region’s development, including by helping build roads and railways.

Polish immigrants to New Zealand lived mainly in rural areas.

The church was initially built at Waihola, but was moved to Broad Bay in 1948, given that by mid last century, most Polish New Zealanders were living in cities and towns.

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