And for the ex-pat Morrinsville folk, here is a letter to the editor that was published last week:
Returning to Morrinsville with the Legato exhibition after five years away has affirmed for me all the good things about living in a smaller town. The Friday evening gala opening at the Wallace Gallery was a wonderful example of what can be achieved when a community pulls together.
For me, watching its progress from Italy, the Wallace Gallery was always my first choice for bringing Legato to NZ. Director Charlotte Giblin received my proposal with enthusiasm last July, and I began looking for funding for the exhibition. Being a non-resident Kiwi now, I hit blocks at every turn. I realised that I had to "go local". I hadn't anticipated the other positives that would emerge, and I was soon delighted for every other reason that Morrinsville was going to be the first New Zealand host of the international exhibition.
Without a big budget to fall back on, I called Jim Lucy at Arrow Printing and requested the seemingly impossible, the alteration of an Italian brochure from a different publishing system at short notice and without guaranteed funding. When I arrived in his office he had achieved creative (and financial) miracles so what seemed impossible was quietly achieved. Judith at Colourplus also answered my midnight Italian-time calls, and delivered framed works in a demanding time frame. Tauranga based artist musicians Garry Osborn and Alison Ham, Alison a former Piako resident, answered my plea for live music for the evening. Service clubs and other volunteers too mumerous to thank personally all did Morrinsville proud.
I returned to a town that is most attractive, and remember how it looked when I first came here in 1972. The streetscape has made a huge difference, and the cultural assets being developed will soon change the way visitors see you. I proudly invited artists from all over the North Island to stay in the town and dine in the excellent eateries. They went away talking (with some surprise) about the lovely town and the beautiful gallery. The weekend had far exceeded their expectations. The Wallace Gallery is a wonderful asset, it will bring more visitors here, and I also look forward to bringing other exhbitions in the future.
I thank you most sincerely for your support of Legato, your attendance at the opening and subsequent visits to the gallery, and your gifts of donations and time that have all helped to bring Legato here for the first opening in New Zealand.
Kay de Lautour Scott, Curator, Legato Exhibitions.