Situated across the street from our apartment in Auckland was the Aotea Square and Performing Arts Center. The origins of the name for this cultural venue within the heart of the city -“Motu Aotea” - came from the Maori native peoples and means “Great Barrier Island”; a reference to the largest offshore island, approximately 56 miles from Auckland. Designs for the center were developed back in 1974, but it took more than a decade for construction to be completed. In addition to gallery spaces and function rooms, this venue houses a 2139 seat main auditorium, as well as a 186 seat smaller theater (for independent theatrical groups). During our stay in Auckland, the Center featured a temporary exhibition on “The Art of Banksy” - a famous British street artist, whose mysterious persona led some to believe that “Banksy” was really a group of street artists, rather than a single individual. The square in front of the Center also plays host to a number of performing art exhibitions, and we were fortunate to be here to experience the “Summer in the Square” festival.
Looking across the square to the Aotea Performing Arts Center.
On the edge of the square is this statue dedicated to Sir Dove-Myer Robinson, Mayor of the city of Auckland from 1959 to 1965 and from 1968 to 1980.
Entering the main lobby of the Aotea Center, you begin to get a feel for what this venue has to offer.
The 2139 seat ASB Auditorium is immense...
...and provides a perfect venue for large scale performances...
...while the more intimate 186 seat theater provides a suitable venue for independent performing groups.
As a special presentation, The Aotea Center hosted a temporary exhibition on “”The Art of Banksy”...
...a controversial British Street artist, who some folks feel is really a group of artists rather than a single individual.
During our Auckland visit, we were fortunate to experience “The Summer in the Square” festival, during which performing artists ( such as this New Zealand Youth Symphony) from around the world...
To add to the special nature of the Center’s venue, this Maori arch conspicuously stands at the entrance to the square.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.