tylee cottage artist-in-residence programme
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tylee cottage artist-in-residence programme


Tylee Cottage Artist-in-Residence Programme

The artist-in-residence programme at Tylee Cottage, a renovated historic building built in 1853, was established in 1986 as a partnership between Te Whare o Rehua Sarjeant Gallery, the Whanganui District Council and the QE11 Arts Council of New Zealand. The programme is now solely funded by Creative New Zealand’s Toi Uru Kahikatea (Arts Development) Investment Programme and managed by the Sarjeant Gallery.

The programme is one of the longest running of its kind in New Zealand and in 2023 we celebrate its thirty seventh year. Over sixty artists have been in residence including some of the country’s leading practitioners. The residency provides a unique opportunity for an artist to develop a new body of work under less pressured circumstances.

As a result, the residency has the dual benefit of bringing exciting new artists into the city and allows us to include innovative contemporary new work in our exhibition programme that is a unique reflection of each of the artist’s time spent in residence. The residency programme attracts a high calibre of applicants.


Lilian Ida Smith Award

Lilian Ida Smith 1920 – 1983 was a Whanganui resident who in her will instructed her estate to be divided into three equal parts to establish trusts to assist people aged 35 years and over to develop and further their interest in painting, writing and teaching music. The Sarjeant Gallery was charged with administering the painting strand of the bequest and in 1993 established the Lilian Ida Smith Award. An accomplished artist herself, sadly she never exhibited and her desire to support someone over 35 was in recognition of the constraints her father, Vivian Smith, faced in response to his experimental output as a painter. Since 1993 the award has been offered four times with the last being in 2021 with Graham Fletcher being the recipient.


Former residents of Tylee Cottage

To view the complete list of former Tylee residents, click here..

Current Tylee Residents

In 2024 we are pleased to welcome Jade Townsend (Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi) to Whanganui as the Tylee Artist in Residence. Jade will be at Tylee until July 2024.


The Sarjeant Gallery

Te Whare o Rehua Sarjeant Gallery was founded through the generosity of Henry Sarjeant who in 1912 left a large sum of money – the equivalent of over $70 million in today’s terms – to establish the gallery “as a means of inspiration for ourselves and those who come after us”. The Gallery opened in 1919 and is recognised as one of the country’s most important heritage buildings. The Sarjeant Collection has become one of national significance and numbers over 8500 works of New Zealand and international art, spanning 400 years.


The Sarjeant Gallery Redevelopment

In 2012, the Sarjeant Gallery at Queen’s Park, Pukenamu – a Category I listed heritage building – was assessed as meeting only 5% of the current building code and classed as an earthquake prone building. It was vacated of all staff and works in 2014. A major redevelopment project to strengthen and extend the building will see Te Whare o Rehua Sarjeant Gallery, reopen at Pukenamu  Queen’s Park in 2024.



The Vignettes exhibition

A retrospective exhibition about the Tylee residency: Vignettes – 30 Years at Tylee Cottage 1986-2016

19 November 2016 – 12 February 2017.

The Vignettes exhibition at Sarjeant on the Quay looked back at 30 years of artist residencies at Tylee Cottage.