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Christchurch City Council Media Release 19 October 2001

New Website Opens Gallery To Public

A question of art, an education project, or just like watching cranes? The new Robert McDougall Art Gallery website offers visitors New Zealand's most comprehensive online gallery experience.

Launched this week, the website ( will showcase current Gallery events and programmes, as well providing in-depth information on past exhibitions, downloadable education materials, a photographic record of construction at the new Gallery and the opportunity to interact with Gallery staff.

"The site was designed in-house to reflect the broad focus of the Gallery: to educate, inform and entertain," says the Robert McDougall Art Gallery's Manager of Public Programmes, Ronnie Kelly.

"Beyond simply offering information on opening times, exhibitions and programmes, we wanted a site that would allow the public to explore more of what the Gallery offers."

"We also hope that by monitoring people's interests, through the feedback we get from the site, we can shape the content to further reflect visitor needs and develop an even better site for the new Gallery."

Christchurch City Council Web Co-ordinator, Fraser Graham, says the challenge in creating the website was to appeal to as many audiences as possible, while still reflecting the character of the Robert McDougall Art Gallery.

"Our approach was to cover the Gallery in as much depth as possible, while providing opportunities for interactivity," says Fraser Graham.

The site's new "ask us a question" section, allowing the public to email any of the Gallery's expert staff on a range of art related issues, has already attracted a large number of responses since the site was launched.

The public also has the opportunity to explore the new Gallery, scheduled for completion in April 2003, going behind the safety fences to view progress on the construction site.

"The construction images will eventually be a unique historical record, once the new Gallery is complete," says Mr Graham.

Ronnie Kelly says he hopes city residents and visitors from around the world will take the opportunity to explore the Gallery in this virtual environment.

"We've managed to develop a website which contains so much more than has been previously available to Gallery enthusiasts," says Mr Kelly. "The website is a resource for everyone."

The new Robert McDougall Art Gallery website is at:

Christchurch Art Gallery ~ Media Releases index

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