More than 320,000 people visited Sculpture in the Gardens this summer and were delighted by the array of outstanding artworks, free activities and gorgeous Gardens.
The exhibition closed with a festive celebration and the announcement of the Friends People’s Choice Award, won by sculptor John Ferguson for botanically inspired sculpture, ‘Khulu’.
Outgoing president of the Friends of the Auckland Botanic Gardens Bill Burrill closed the exhibition and, together with new president Dianne Glenn, announced the People’s Choice Award winner.
“Once again Sculpture in the Gardens has delighted visitors and celebrated great art, in a beautiful setting.
“The People’s Choice Award is our visitors’ opportunity to express their enjoyment of the artworks and John Ferguson’s large and colourful floral work has resonated with so many people.
“Both the Friends and the sculptors are delighted with sales from the exhibition,” says Mr Burrill.
Auckland Council Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee Chair Cr Christine Fletcher acknowledges the ongoing support of the Friends and the exhibition’s volunteers.
“This is a special partnership for Auckland Council which sees the Gardens’ supporters driving its single biggest event and one that brings the most visitors through the gates.
“The Friends’ support and the generous contribution of all of the volunteers that join us for Sculpture in the Gardens guarantee its success and have helped place this event on Auckland’s ‘essential must-see’ calendar,” says Cr Fletcher.
Auckland Botanic Gardens Manager Jack Hobbs says more than 320,000 people visited this summer’s exhibition – down a little on the last exhibition but making for a very busy summer.
“We are delighted with the numbers and with the feedback we’ve received from visitors. This exhibition continues to draw people deeper into our gardens than they have ever been before and learning about the collections on the way.
“As with each exhibition we are thrilled to provide the public with a free opportunity to experience art in a very accessible way,” he says.
The next exhibition is already being planned for the summer of 2017/18.
Sculpture in the Gardens is organised by the Friends of the Auckland Botanic Gardens, the Auckland Botanic Gardens and Auckland Council with support from the Manurewa Local Board and many valued sponsors and volunteers. Visit www.sculptureinthegardens.nz for more information.