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The honour was bestowed on her at the recent 35th gallery annual general meeting.
Mrs Carr joined the gallery committee in June 1996 when the gallery was in its infancy.
At that time, there was one full time staff member and the committee did much of the day-to-day work of running the gallery.
Volunteers like Mrs Carr helped hang exhibition works, painted walls, manned the front desk and did a host of other jobs needed to run a public art gallery.
Ashburton art Gallery committee vice-president Fleur Tompsett said Mrs Carr had been very generous with her time, had a sense of fun and was skilled at running events.
She had offered "wholehearted support of the Ashburton Art Gallery throughout her 23 year association''.
"Without people like Anne serving so tirelessly over such a long period of time, places like the art gallery would not exist.,'' said Mrs Tompsett.
In recent years Anne Carr has been the regular face at the gallery on Fridays, welcoming visitors and supporting staff with administrative duties.
She is moving to Christchurch and will end her long volunteering stint with the gallery.
Mrs Carr was presented with a gift of art and a certificate and received a standing ovation from gallery supporters at the announcement of her honorary life membership.