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.’
Claire Chamberlain is passionate about art appreciation, art education and the visual arts in general. She has taught at Te Tuhi for the Lois Perry Art Today programme since 2018. Claire has over 20 years’ experience as a secondary teacher of art history, from the historical to the contemporary. During this time she was also 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. She is the author of a text on contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand art published by Longman. Claire is a keen supporter of New Zealand representation at the Biennale di Venezia. She is the Co-Director of New Zealand at Venice Patrons for 2022 and has been a patron of NZ at Venice since 2017. She led patrons’ tours in 2017 to Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel in neighbouring Padua and 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]. Claire is a keen collector of art and is a member of both the Auckland Art Gallery Contemporary Benefactors and its Foundation. She 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.