Museum-archive ready for new chapter

Waitaki Museum and Archive and Forrester Gallery director Chloe Searle is excited by the changes...
Waitaki Museum and Archive and Forrester Gallery director Chloe Searle is excited by the changes being made to the museum. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD
Waitaki Museum and Archive’s stage two renovations are starting to take shape, but it is not the only change the facility is going through.

In addition to the renovation of its upper floor, it is in search of a new curator to make use of the new space.

Waitaki Museum and Archive and Forrester Gallery director Chloe Searle was excited by the idea of handing the curatorial reins to someone else after holding the position for many years.

"Hopefully, it will give me more time for some of the more strategic things," Ms Searle said.

"Whoever the successful candidate is, I look forward to seeing them take the reins and see where they take it."

They will have plenty of space to work with.

Once the upper level renovations are complete there will be rotating and permanent exhibition spaces, and an education room.

Ms Searle was particularly excited about the latter addition to the museum.

A dedicated education space could host group talks or workshops, and it meant the scope of activities or programmes was not limited by existing exhibitions.

Ms Searle hoped the upper floor would be completed and open to the public by the middle of next year.

Despite the disruption made to construction by this year’s snap lockdown, she was happy with the progress that had been made so far.

Tradespeople were working on electrics, earthquake-strengthening and the construction of a lift.

Although it was strange to see a familiar space transform into something new, Ms Searle said she was excited by what was to come.

"It’s one thing looking at these things on paper, but there is nothing quite like standing in a space and seeing what it’s like."

ruby.heyward@odt.co.nz

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