Art Donations Policy

Scope of policy

The Art Donations Policy covers the acquisition of art works offered as donations to Christchurch City Libraries for the purpose of display at a particular library or throughout the library network. This does not include artworks offered to libraries for temporary exhibition or display, or artworks commissioned and funded by the Libraries or Friends of the Library, or other funding sources. The policy also covers the maintenance and disposal of donated artworks.

Definition of an Artwork for the purposes of the Art Donations Policy

'Artwork' or ‘Works of Art’ - the original concepts of artists, executed in any visual art/craft medium including sculpture, carved, cast, constructed; paintings, light works, projected or illuminated, prints, drawings, photographs, murals, banners, wall hangings, ceramics, assemblages or combinations of media. Artworks may have auditory and/or tactile dimensions as well as visual elements.

Note that some materials used in the creation of an artwork may not be suitable for long-term display in a library environment.

Use of Artworks for Display

  1. Artists and other members of the community may choose to donate a work of art to a library for the following reasons:
    • To showcase a local artist’s work in their community space
    • To enhance the visual appeal of library spaces and create a welcoming environment for library users
    • To acknowledge and show appreciation by the donor of the value of the library to their community
    • To contribute to or grow the local community identity as centred in the library
    • To highlight and represent the cultural narrative of the community, and celebrate diversity
  2. Artworks of a less permanent nature may be accepted by Christchurch City Libraries for temporary display, rather than permanent acquisition
  3. The use of artworks in library spaces also reflects the Bicultural Service Philosophy values of Christchurch City Libraries as follows:
  • to reflect the shared experiences of our library customers and provide a sense of belonging (Whanaungatanga)
  • to share and gain knowledge and understanding of our local artists and our library community (Māramatanga)
  • to enhance and enrich our environment and our shared spaces for our customers and colleagues (Kaitiakitanga)
  • to extend our welcome to all library users, showing generosity, care and respect in our interactions with our local artists and our community (Manaakitanga)

Donation of Artworks

  1. Approved donations or bequests are deemed to be unconditional
  2. The Library will be under no obligation to accept any artwork gift offered
  3. The Library will decide if an artwork is to be accepted for inclusion in the Christchurch City Libraries art collection and displayed in a library setting. Criteria for acceptance of donation to be considered:
    1. Artist’s connection with the local community and/or with Christchurch/Canterbury
    2. Relevance of the subject
    3. Artistic merit/reputation of the artist
    4. Cultural content
    5. Reflection/celebration of diverse community
    6. Suitability for display in proposed location/space required
    7. Condition of the work/display ready
    8. Financial cost to the Libraries e.g. installation/maintenance cost
    9. Any health and safety issues
  4. If the decision made is to accept the work, a Donation of Artwork Agreement will be completed and signed by the donor and a Team Leader or Manager representing Christchurch City Libraries  

Maintenance, Retention and Disposal of Donated Artworks

  1. Retention and disposal: under the terms of the Donation of Artwork Agreement signed by both parties, Christchurch City Libraries will retain the option to dispose of a donated artwork
  2. Maintenance and repair: Christchurch City Libraries will retain the right to decide on the repair of damaged artworks as well as on-going maintenance. The decision about the final location of the donated artwork will take into account and minimise the risk of deliberate or accidental damage, or of environmental impact
  3. A review of the Christchurch City Libraries collection of donated artworks will be carried out on a regular basis to ensure artworks on display are in good condition and still relevant/appropriate for display
  4. The decision to deaccession a donated artwork will be made by the Library, and the donor will be advised in accordance with the Donation of Artwork Agreement and given the option of collecting the artwork from the library.

August 2020

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