Thanks to everybody who came to the opening of RONA, we've had some
fantastic feedback, not only for the opening but at the way the building looks
and also the events over the weekend.
Maggie Barry opened the bookshop aspect, as chair of the New Zealand Book
Council, and we wish her all the best with her new role. She was absolutely
lovely and but did mention some disappointment as to not being able to cut the
ribbon with her gardening shears.
Opening the art exhibition and the art portion of the shop was Sir Frank
Holmes. A friend to the gallery over many years, he was utterly charming and we
were privedged to have both him and Maggie Barry on the night.
I would also like to thank those people who came and gave talks and
demonstrations over the weekend, and our staff who were already exhausted
helping with activities like making mini books and setting up other activities
and even games.
Fleur Beale, local children's author and much adored by many of the local
Mary McCallum, book reviewer for "nine to noon" and "good morning" for her "hot
picks for 2006" panel, a discussion forum of people's favourite books for 2006 -
please forgive me if I've forgotten a couple of name of people who were on the
panel, I'll try to find out - Quentin Johnson - "nine to noon" book reviewer and
Film critic & Maggie Rainey-Smith - author.
At the end of the discussion there was some talk about restarting
the "wednesday club," a fantastic idea and something we will have to look into.
Mike Ponder, Iconic artist of "Drizabone" fame his iconic pictures have almost
become a part of the nz landscape, talked about his art, but I'm afraid I
missed that one so I'm not sure if it also included his writing or his winery.
I would also like to thank Peter Friend, prolific children's and science
fiction author (most prestigously published in Assmovs but also much published
in the school journal as well as Barbara Else's anthologies) talking about
writing for children. He made some very good points, and I was most
Also a thankyou to our artists Jack Register and Paul Tait, Jack for his
demonstration of watercolour technique (and I think you've got the picture so
you can make a comment on it) And Paul for, (I believe the speech was something
about his inspiration just name it becaue I didn't see it either)
And of course a thankyou to everybody who helped and everybody who came and
made it such and enjoyable ane enlightening event, I know I learnt lots and
really enjoyed myself over the two days.
RONA looks stunning, despite the fact that we only had six weeks to get things
running. There are still a few glitches but with such a big project, some
things do take longer to pull together than others so we appreciate your
We hope to see you in store soon
If you can't make it why not see all the fantastic New Zealand art and books at www.ronagallery.co.nz
Richard, Joanna, James and Alicia Ponder