Sophie Thorn, Manutaki | Acting Director
+64 4 463 5504
Sophie is currently on secondment from her position of Kaiwhakarākei Curator Collections to the role of Manutaki Director until the end of June 2024. She holds a Master of Arts in Art History and Theory from the University of Canterbury and a Diploma in Law and Collections Management through the London Institute of Art Law. She studied Heritage Materials Science through the Physical Sciences department at Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington and Metallurgy at the Chemical Institute of Technology in Prague, Czech Republic. She has held positions at the Canterbury Museum, Experience Wellington, and Te Manawa Museums Trust. She has been with Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery since 2014.
Kate Lepper, Kaitaupua Kaupapa Tūmatawhānui | Public Programmes and Communications Coordinator
+64 4 886 5455 or 022 010 8248
Kate holds a Master of Fine Art (Distinction) from the Slade School of Fine Art, London, and is a practising artist with a broad range of experience in art galleries and cultural institutions in Aotearoa and the UK. Kate joins Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery from Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, having previously worked for Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua, and in London, for Somerset House, Chisenhale Gallery, The Showroom, Gasworks, and The White Building.
Andy Cummins, Kaitaupua Whakatū Whakaaturanga | Head Technician and Production Coordinator
+64 4 463 5011
Andy Cummins has been responsible for the delivery of our exhibitions since 2010. He also assists with the presentation and care of the University Art Collection and has played an important role in establishing the Gallery’s podcast channel. He is an experienced exhibition technician and built his own sound studio where he makes music.
Ann Gale, Mata Ahupae | Gallery Administrator
+64 4 463 5229
Ann holds a BFA degree from the University of Montana and has a professional background in registration and archiving with previous work experience at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis as well as assisting several artists based in New York City. She has been living in Wellington since 2012.
Sally McMath, Pia Nahanaha Taonga | Intern
04 463 6835
Sally McMath holds a Honours in Art History from the University of Auckland, having completed her Bachelor of Arts at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington in 2019. Whilst undertaking her internship Sally will apply her interests in research: its material forms and uses as the basis for exhibition making and publishing. She works in various capacities within the arts ecology of Auckland, most recently at Coastal Signs, Artspace Aotearoa and RM Gallery and Project Space.
Christina Barton, | Adjunct Professor and Researcher-at-large
Christina Barton (DLitt, MNZM) was Associate Professor and Director of Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery. She was appointed to this role in 2007 but has contributed to the Gallery’s history, since its establishment in 1999, from her position as a senior lecturer in Art History at Victoria University of Wellington (she joined the University in 1995). She is recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading art historians, curators, and writers, having previously worked at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (1992-1994) and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (1987-1991). She has published extensively on New Zealand art and artists, as well as co-editing Antic magazine (1986–1990) and Reading Room, a journal of contemporary art and culture published by the E. H. McCormick Research Library at Auckland Art Gallery (2007–2018). Notable exhibitions since 2000 include: Joseph Kosuth: Guests and Foreigners, Rules and Meanings (Te Kore) (Adam Art Gallery 2000); Anthony McCall: Drawing with Light (Adam Art Gallery 2010); what is a life? kim pieters (Adam Art Gallery, 2014); Simon Denny: The Personal Effects of Kim Dotcom (Adam Art Gallery, 2014); Billy Apple®: The Artist Has to Live Like Everybody Else (Auckland Art Gallery, 2015); Bad Visual Systems: Ruth Buchanan, Judith Hopf, Marianne Wex (Adam Art Gallery, 2016); and Kate Newby: YES TOMORROW (Adam Art Gallery 2021).
Charles Broughton, Kaiāwhina | Gallery Attendant
Olivia Bradfield, Kaiāwhina | Gallery Attendant
Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery is supported by a team of dedicated volunteers, who assist with administration and hosting during events and exhibitions. We are extremely grateful to our volunteers for the valuable contribution they make to gallery operations.
Board & Trustees
Jenny Harper, Chair
Jenny is the former director of Christchurch Art Gallery, and founding Associate Professor, Art History, Victoria University of Wellington (1995-2005). Jenny Harper was instrumental in the establishment of Art History at Victoria University of Wellington and led the Adam Art Gallery project to its successful opening in 1999. Now retired from her leadership role at the Christchurch Art Gallery, she is offering independent consultancy services to the art museum profession and cultural sector. She is a long-standing patron of the Adam Art Gallery and one of its keenest advocates, who brings her experience, knowledge and fundraising skills to see the Gallery and the Art Collection through the next phases of their history.
Susan Ballard is Associate Professor of art history at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington where she teaches courses on art writing and the environment. Recent essays have appeared in October, Environmental Humanities, GeoHumanities, Cultural Geographies, and the Sydney Review of Books. Her books include 100 Atmospheres: Studies in Scale and Wonder (with the MECO network, Open Humanities Press 2019); Alliances in the Anthropocene (with Christine Eriksen, Palgrave 2020) and Art and Nature in the Anthropocene: Planetary Aesthetics (Routledge 2021). Art and Nature in the Anthropocene was awarded the best book in the AAANZ Arts Writing and Publishing Awards 2022. Su curated Listening Stones Jumping Rocks for Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery, Wellington in 2021, and is currently co-authoring Shift Work: Art and Life in the Third Millennium with Liz Linden to be published by Punctum Press in 2024.
Dr Sandy Callister has been an advisory board member and Art Collection trustee since 2010. She is a foundation member of Aotea Ora Community Trust – Aotea/Great Barrier Island’s first social enterprise trust. She established and runs the Aotea Ora Artist Residency programme. Sandy is currently undertaking a Law Masters at Auckland University focusing on human rights issues and our child poverty legislation in Aotearoa. Her work as a community activist with tamariki through the Painga Project in high deprivation communities in South Auckland has been the catalyst. From 2003 to 2017 Sandy was a founder director of PROVIDENCE GROUP, an ‘insights driven’ strategic consultancy business. She previously worked for TVNZ, Saatchi and Saatchi in New York, Unilever in London, and was Managing Director of Colmar Brunton in Wellington. She holds a BA from Victoria University; a PhD in History from the University of Auckland and has studied women and leadership at the Harvard Business School. Her book The Face of War: New Zealand’s Great War Photography was published by Auckland University Press in 2008.
Claire Carruthers (B.A, P.G.C, M.A) has always had a passion for the Arts, her Master’s in Art History specialised in Twentieth Century French Art and in particular Picasso’s Les Demoiselles D’Avignon. She moved to New Zealand from the UK twenty years ago. Claire's current role at Wellington Free Ambulance is as the General Manager Fundraising and Communications which sits at governance level reporting directly to the CE and Board. She has a track record of success in advising iconic organisations on their strategic priorities and vision by implementing fundraising and communications strategies to support the overall success of an organisation. Previous roles were in higher education and before Wellington Free, she was the Campaign Manager for Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington with the Adam Art Gallery in her portfolio. Her professional life includes being a Director on the Board of Freedom Medical Alarms and a Board of Governor at Queen Margaret College. In 2021 Claire won the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand’s (FINZ) Fundraising Leader of the year award.
Robin Skinner is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Architecture and Design at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. He teaches Pacific architecture and design and researches New Zealand architectural history.
Carey began her working career in an advertising production role in Wellington New Zealand. She travelled to London in 1998 to continue working in this field whilst supporting herself through an undergraduate Fine Art degree at Goldsmiths College, University of London. On return to New Zealand in 2001 she worked for ten years with Hamish McKay and his stable of artists. She has run her own Gallery, The Young, and worked for leading auction house Webb’s and brings her knowledge of art and artists and the collectors who support them to her role on the board and as a trustee.
Michael is the AAG advisory board’s student representative. He is currently completing a PhD in New Zealand Studies that re-examines the foundations of cultural nationalism in New Zealand seeking its international roots and linkages through a close study of key figures in cultural history. He holds a master’s degree in art history from the University of Oxford and an undergraduate degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Yale-NUS College.
Previous Adam Art Gallery Interns
Louie holds a BFA from Whiti O Rehua School of Art, Massey University, Wellington, and their creative work in performance, drawing, and moving image has already gained exposure at venues in Dunedin, Auckland and Wellington. Louie is interested in honing their research skills and learning about devising and delivering exhibitions and events. They are keen to bring their interests in queer theory, performance art and fashion, and mātauranga Māori to bear in helping develop the Gallery’s programmes.
Although the outbreak of COVID-19 forced Millie to cut short her time in London, where she was undertaking her MA in Art History at the Courtauld Institute, and the Adam Art Gallery had to delay the start of the internship due to the lockdowns, the pandemic did mean that we could enjoy working with her between September 2020 and February 2021. Millie worked on various tasks, helping with our public programmes and learning about the contents of the New Zealand Art Archive. She has since seen through the delivery of Crossings (a group show about intimacies and distances) as a valued co-curator. After February 2021, we were able to employ her as a part-time curatorial assistant.
Nina’s focus during her time at the Gallery was on developing public programmes to accompany our exhibition programme. A highlight for her was the series of talks she organised to accompany On the Last Afternoon: Disrupted Ecologies and the Work of Joyce Campbell. She also worked with gallery director Christina Barton and Curator Collections Sophie Thorn on the ‘one-work’ exhibition ‘A way through’: Colin McCahon’s Gate III which toured to Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery in 2019 and CoCA Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki in Christchurch in 2020. Nina was responsible for exploring McCahon’s strongly anti-nuclear views and the iconography he drew upon to convey them in his mural-scaled painting. Nina went on to a full-time curatorial role at The Depot in Devonport, Auckland.
Lachlan was an intern for the Adam while he pursued his Masters degree in Art History at Victoria University of Wellington. While working at the Gallery he undertook research towards the first exhibition dedicated to the New Zealand works of British artist Christopher Perkins, who spent four important years working in New Zealand between 1929 and 1934. Lachlan contributed an essay for the publication that accompanied the exhibition Looking for a new country: Christopher Perkins in New Zealand. After receiving his MA and completing the Adam Art Gallery internship, Lachlan received a one-year position as Curatorial Assistant at Artspace Aotearoa, Auckland, he then worked at Michael Lett, Auckland before returning to Te Whanganui-a-Tara in 2021 to undertake a Masters in Creative Writing at the University’s International Institute of Modern Letters.