Previous Exhibitions

August 2018 - Continuing BLACK: a response to closure of the public art gallery in Palmerston North

This month ZIMMERMAN continued its exhibition of BLACK, a response to the closure of the Manawatu Art Gallery for "up to 10 months".   


** UPDATE ** Due to the public outcry about a 10 month closure of the Manawatu Art Gallery, the Palmerston North City Council has now slashed the closure by a full seven months. The Art Gallery will open again at the end of September. 


However, despite this welcome intervention by Council, the Art Gallery still faces an uncertain future. The same management remains, and the Art Gallery building may potentially be demolished within the next few years. If you would like to support the call to "Save the Art Gallery in Palmerston North", then please click on the following link to sign the online petition:


Save the art gallery in Palmerston North  



BLACK is a response to the closure of the Manawatu Art Gallery “for up to 10 months” from 1 July 2018.

Official information requests made to Te Manawa and Palmerston North City Council reveal:


- The decision to close the Art Gallery for up to 10 months was not based on any external evidence or advice – it was an internal decision made by Te Manawa’s management and accepted by Te Manawa’s Trust Board.


- In Te Manawa’s view “exhibitions in the gallery’s five exhibition spaces are a significant drain on staff time and resources”. Closing the Art Gallery for “maintenance and repairs” provided Te Manawa with an opportunity to redirect staff resources into other projects, including “redevelopment of the long-term exhibitions in the museum” and projects to “exemplify TM2025” (ie; projects to show what the Te Manawa experience might transform into by the year 2025).


- While some renewal works will take place in the Art Gallery during the 10 month closure, no structural changes are being made. The Art Gallery building is structurally sound, and no public safety issues existed before the closure


In closing our Art Gallery for up to 10 months, Te Manawa is taking away from our community, for almost a full year, the many opportunities and access to artworks that only a public art gallery can provide. The Art Gallery is the only venue in the Manawatu capable of securing prestigious touring art exhibitions, and able to bring works by prominent artists who have no local dealer here


Many of us who live and work here have dedicated our lives and careers to practising, teaching or promoting the visual arts.


Our region is also home to many students - primary, secondary and tertiary – whose opportunities for art education and inspiration instantly shrank when the Manawatu Art Gallery closed. Add to this the many artists, collectors and art viewing public who live or visit here – the doors have been shut on us all.


The time has come for Palmerston North City Council to step in and appoint a new Trust Board to manage the Art Gallery.


Please show your support by signing the online petition at:



With over 725 signatures already, your signature will help show that the arts community treasures the Manawatu Art Gallery, and wants our Council to take the action needed for it to hum again.