Local Art Dealer Wins Honour for services to art

Local art dealer Deborah White was in London, when she was informed of her Queen’s birthday honour for services to art.

I am delighted to receive the honour ONZM. As an artworker in New Zealand I am part of a community that includes artists, curators, writers, technicians and dealers. It is wonderful to get such positive endorsement for the visual arts sector. Also I grew up a ward of the state and there is something quite delightful in receiving this recognition now.

Tell us about your career…

I established the Kitchener Gallery in the early 1980s and have been involved in arts consultancy since 1987. In 1996, I was the founding Trustee and Secretary of Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust. I developed relationships internationally for Pacific artists and personally toured exhibitions to New York, London, Sydney and Melbourne. I established Pacific Artspace in Melbourne to assist contemporary Pacific artists to exhibit and was responsible for the highly acclaimed 'Pacific Notion’ exhibit, which toured internationally.

We established Whitespace Gallery in Ponsonby in 2003, which continues to exhibit New Zealand contemporary artists and through which I have encouraged and supported young emerging artists as its founding Director. I was the founding Trustee and Chair of the New Zealand Contemporary Art Trust formed in 2005 to present the Auckland Art Fair. For many years I presented a public programme for the Auckland Art Fair and in 2010 I developed Artweek Auckland, an annual art festival with more than 100 exhibits and events across the city all freely accessible to the public. In 2006, I was a founding Trustee of the Newmarket Arts Trust and was involved in the sourcing of several public artworks for Newmarket.

When will your ONZM be presented? In August at Government House in Auckland.

Do you get to meet her Maj? The Queens representative Dame Patsy Reddy, the Governor General of New Zealand presents the award.

WHITESPACE, 12 Crummer Road, T: 09 361 6331, www.whitespace.co.nz