Close this search box.
Canterbury Museum and street art

Canterbury Museum director Anthony Wright, street art festival director George Shaw and YMCA Christchurch chief executive Josie Ogden Schroeder talk in front of street art by Rone. Photo: Monique Ford. Source: Fairfax NZ.

Charlie Gates, Street art museum could be world first, The Press, 16 December 2014

One of the largest collections of Banksy artworks in the world could soon have a permanent home in Christchurch.

The street art collection showcased in this year’s hit Rise exhibition could be on permanent free display in the world’s first custom-built street art museum.

The museum would be part of a small arts complex planned for the former wall climbing facility at the YMCA building on Hereford St in the city centre. The complex could also include a 200-seat theatre for community theatre and dance groups.

YMCA Christchurch chief executive Josie Ogden Schroeder said the fit-out would cost $8 million and they need to raise a further $4m to start construction in October. The space is being converted into exhibition rooms for Rise’s sequel, SPECTRUM, in February.

Schroeder said the new facility would fit with the YMCA’s social mission as it would host community art workshops, art programmes for troubled young people and artists in residence.

“We want to create a Christchurch that has amazing things to offer and has things that no other city in the world has,” she said.

“We want to make it a really interesting space for young people. A place to be if you are a bit freaked out by the idea of a gallery. We won’t be worried if they use their phones or eat.”

SPECTRUM street art festival director George Shaw said the gallery would be a “beacon” for street artists across the world.

“Street artists from the highest level will aspire to come to paint here. We want this to be the place that Banksy wants to come to. A place that is irresistible to street artists.

“We will build the world’s foremost collection of art by street artists so we have a beacon that is beaming out into the world.”

Schroeder said the theatre would be designed to be affordable for small groups.

“The available theatre spaces are either run by a company that runs the building or are really expensive,” she said.

“This will be a small, but really well designed, theatre. We want to make it really cheap for theatre groups to use. There is a real lack of places in the city.”
The Rise festival became the biggest exhibition in Canterbury Museum history in February and brought many new pieces of street art to central Christchurch.