Pataka welcomes New Director

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We wish to congratulate Reuben Friend on his recent appointment as director of Pataka Art + Museum. Many of the team at City Gallery had the pleasure of working with Reuben when he was curator of Māori and Pacific arts (2009-2013) and wish him well in his new role. 

Media Release from Porirua City Council

Porirua City Council is welcoming new Pataka Director Reuben Friend, a Titahi Bay resident. General Manager, Community Services, Euan Dempsey, said there had been strong applicants for the role.

“Reuben stood out as an individual who will fit well with what we do at Pataka,” Mr Dempsey said. “He represents a new generation of Maori artists and his understanding and empathy with Pacific art will enhance the work and standing of Pataka.”

Mr Dempsey thanked outgoing Director Helen Kedgley who is retiring after 15 years at Pataka, three as Director. “Helen has done some amazing work at Pataka and leaves our award-winning gallery in great shape,” Mr Dempsey said. “In her role as Director Helen has maintained Pataka’s position as one of New Zealand’s most successful galleries and it is well placed to go forward with new leadership.

“Pataka has strong relationships with the local and art communities, visitation numbers are very high, and the newly established Pataka Foundation will provide Pataka with a solid footing to support and enhance the flow of excellent exhibitions well into the future.”

Reuben has run his own art curatorial consultancy company and has been based in Brisbane working at the Logan City Gallery. Prior to that he was curator of Māori and Pacific arts at City Gallery Wellington. Reuben has studied Māori language and visual art and he has a Master of Philosophy in Māori Visual Arts from Massey University.