Webb named patron of Gore art gallery

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An artist with a close association with the South has been appointed Eastern Southland Gallery and East Gore Art Centre patron.

Eastern Southland Gallery programmes officer Marcella Geddes said Marilynn Webb had been a very strong supporter of the gallery, which is well known throughout the country, from its beginning in the early 1980s.

Webb had given “quite a lot” of works to the gallery’s collection during her association with the organisation, Mrs Geddes said.

Arts and heritage curator Jim Geddes said the gallery had previously had only two patrons, the first the late Jean Smith and more latterly the late Gabriel Farry, both excellent supporters of the organisation.

Webb had also been a huge supporter of the gallery, Mr Geddes said.

She had encouraged artists to exhibit at the gallery, he said.

Not only had Webb donated works to the gallery’s collection but she had also given pieces for fundraisers.

Hers was “the very first solo exhibition in 1984”, Mr Geddes said.

Although Webb lives in Dunedin she was treated like a Gore district resident, he said.

She completed a series of work focusing on the Mataura River in 1994, “so she spent a lot of time in Gore doing that”.

The latest exhibition of Webb’s work was hosted at the gallery late last year.

The conclusion of the exhibition in early December was timed to coincide with the artist’s 80th birthday. Festivities included a members’ lunch and an official closing, where Webb was officially appointed patron of the gallery and East Gore Art Centre, he said.

Webb said she had a long association with the gallery and other stalwarts such as Natalie Dolamore and Patric Carey, as well as Mr Geddes.