Lois Perry graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from The University of Auckland in 1980 and taught art and art history in secondary schools until 2000. In 1975, Lois was instrumental in the establishment of the Pakuranga Arts Centre (now Te Tuhi). She went on to support the establishment of the Fisher Gallery by the Pakuranga Arts Society, of which she was president from 1981 to 1985. She remained a committee member of the society until 2002, at which point she became the chair of Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, a post she retained until 2007. From 2007 until 2017 she was a trustee of the two trusts which govern Te Tuhi, now the Contemporary Art Foundation and Te Tuhi Contemporary Art Trust. In 2004 she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts (Hons) from Elam School of Fine Arts, and in 2007 began developing Art Today classes for adults at Te Tuhi. Many of the early students are still coming to the classes. She has travelled widely to art galleries and sites around the world – from Palmyra to Prague, Ulan Bator to the United States. She believes what is happening in the arts tells us about the world we’re living in. ‘I’m interested in the politics, the people, the places and the past of today’s art world – and today it’s the whole world.’
Based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Claire Chamberlain has extensive experience as a teacher of art history from the historical to the contemporary. She has also been the president of the New Zealand Art History Teachers’ Association (NZAHTA). Claire holds a Master of Arts in Art History (First-Class Honours) and has written for various publications including the Journal of NZAHTA, Art Zone and the Sunday Star-Times. She is also the author of a text on contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand art written for secondary art history students. Claire is a patron of New Zealand at Venice and led patrons’ tours in 2017 to Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel in neighbouring Padua. She was also involved in the organisation of the programme of events for patrons of New Zealand at Venice in 2019. Claire was an exhibition attendant for Lisa Reihana’s Emissaries; Aotearoa New Zealand’s Venice Biennale exhibit in 2017, which showcased in Pursuit of Venus [infected]. In 2018 she curated an exhibition involving seven contemporary women artists in association with the 125th anniversary of suffrage in Aotearoa New Zealand and led tours for NZ Sculpture on Shore. She has also taught an art history class for adults at a local art centre. Claire is a collector of art and is passionate about communicating her love of art and art history in an accessible, informed and, above all, enjoyable way.
Mary Robinson lived in London for over a decade, 1993 to 2006, where she studied and taught art. She travelled extensively throughout Europe to galleries and attended art events – biennales, Documenta and many art fairs. London provided the opportunity to attend lectures and talks at galleries including the Serpentine Gallery, Royal Academy, RIBA, Tate Modern, Tate Britain, the Hayward and the Architectural Association. Mary’s own art practice spans a range of media and she has exhibited in London and Berlin. She taught art and art history in secondary schools both in the United Kingdom and Aotearoa New Zealand. Since 2013 she has been associated with Lois Perry’s Art Today classes, initially as a guest speaker and then as a tutor. Her knowledge and ongoing research into different contemporary art practices enables her to consider art within multiple social, cultural and artistic contexts. Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK; a Foundation Certificate in Art & Design from The City Lit, Middlesex University, London, UK; a Diploma of Teaching, Aotearoa NZ; and a Bachelor of Social Sciences in History from Waikato University, Aotearoa NZ.