A rare chance to see the 'jewels' of the Manukau City art collection on show is coming up at the Fisher Gallery. Toi o Manukau – City Treasures opens at the Fisher Gallery on Saturday the 19th of February and features selected works from the extensive Manukau City art collection. The Manukau City collection was started over 10 years ago and now has over 250 works. While predominantly painting, there are several pieces of sculpture, ceramics, and glass, as well as works commissioned by the city. As the works can normally only be seen scattered throughout the walls of Manukau City Council buildings, Toi o Manukau – City Treasures is a unique opportunity to see the works side-by-side in a single venue. The collection and exhibition features a number of works by artists from the Manukau City area, including works by traditional and Pacific Island artists, such as John Pule, Fatu Feu'u, Emily Karaka and Richard Shortland-Cooper. Also included in the Manukau City collection and Toi 0 Manukau – City Treasures are works which specifically refer to Manukau City, such as historical works by JC Hoyte, whose view of the Howick area dates back to the late 19th century, and Ida Eise's painting of rural Manukau from the 1930s. Contemporary photographs by Glen Jowitt of the people and places of Manukau City, and that also document of life in some Pacific Islands, are also part of the City collection and the exhibition.
The collection has been seen by the Manukau City Council as a means of supporting local artists and highlighting the diversity of cultures in the city; however many of the works are of emerging and established New Zealand artists from other parts of the country. The present curator of the collection, John Daly-Peoples, says "The collection has an umbrella of works by senior artists and these provide a setting for local artists. What we have is artists reflecting and dealing with local issues within the context of national and international practice."