(Media release)

Kapiti Coast’s District Public Art Gallery, MAHARA, is introducing a new visual identity to coincide with the redevelopment of the gallery building.

Mahara Gallery Trust Board Chairman Gordon Shroff says the Gallery is now to be known as Toi MAHARA, a name and identity that best reflects its connections and aspirations.

“The completion of the new gallery building is the right time to ensure that our name and the way it is represented embodies our relationship with our most important stakeholders and our role as the district gallery for Kapiti,” he says.

“These considerations were set out in the brief to our designer and typographer, Catherine Griffiths of Studio Catherine Griffiths.  The Board is delighted with the way she has woven elements of tangata whenua culture and the new building’s design into a visual identity that is elegant, distinctive and challenging.”

Gordon Shroff said staff were now working to ensure that the name and its associated design elements were incorporated into all aspects of the Gallery’s activities, from website to stationery and signage.

Designer and typographer Catherine Griffiths says the visual identity, in her words, had to be a thing of beauty that would resonate, and embody the many parts of the gallery, from iwi and community, the artists and their works, to its almost 30-year history. 

“The M tohu, the name, which is at the heart of the redeveloped Toi MAHARA’s visual identity, is the flag, the figure, the typographic face,” she says. “You can recognise the distinctive angled roof line, the interior spaces reaching tall, upwards, and the lineal detailing of steel structures and joinery. It all just naturally fitted together.”

Toi MAHARA opens on Saturday 28 October after an eighteen-month rebuild of the former Mahara Gallery building, the outcome of a partnership involving the Mahara Gallery Trust Board, Kapiti Coast District Council and the Field Collection Trust.

Two translations of Toi are: 1. art; 2. summit, peak. —Eds