Partner elected as chair of major NZ foundation

by Sophie Schroder10 Dec 2014
Chapman Tripp partner and avid art collector, Garth Gallaway, has been elected as chair of the Arts Foundation.

The litigation partner in the firm’s Christchurch office specialises in civil litigation, insurance law and health and safety defence work, and also loves collecting New Zealand art.

He told NZ Lawyer that his interest in art was sparked at age eight, when he bought a Jeffrey Harris drawing for $2.

Gallaway now has many ‘favourite artists’, but particularly admires Andrew McLeod, Francis Upritchard, Tony de Lautour and Michael Parekowhai, and in the younger generation, Simon Denny and Suji Park.
 
He says he’s “delighted” to chair an organisation that is focused on rewarding artists across many disciplines, from dance and acting, to painting and writing.
 
All funds are raised privately, and since its inception, the Foundation has given away close to a staggering $5 million to assist Kiwi artists.
 
“I think my appointment is also recognition that the legal profession can, and does, play a role in many other aspects of life in New Zealand beyond the profession itself,” Gallaway says.

His background as a lawyer will help assist the Foundation by lending legal discipline in regards to securing opportunity and protecting the interests of its agents.
 
Legal minds established the Foundation, he says, and have been critical to its development.
 
It’s not so strange that the law and art are connected: Lawyers thrive on providing solutions to complex matters with results that improve people's lives, and Gallaway has found many similarities through his work at the Foundation in the way he thinks with artists.
 
“It's one of the reasons that all lawyers should join the Arts Foundation as patrons,” he says.
 
“The other reason is as lawyers, many of us are responsible for the ordering of clients’ personal affairs, including the drafting of wills. I think it is vital that all people consider supporting charitable organisations through provision in their wills and I would hope that those who know the value of the arts to society will consider leaving a legacy to the Arts Foundation.”
 
The Arts Foundation has recently adopted a new strategic plan, and the Chapman Tripp partner’s primary focus as chair will be around this ongoing development.

The plan involves increasing its patronage “dramatically”, and a recently announced partnership with Westpac will now provide exciting reach, he says.

“The focus will be on increasing our patrons and consolidating the place that the Arts Foundation holds as the leading arts organisation in New Zealand.
 
“I am also particularly interested in seeing our crowd-[funding] website, Boosted, continue to flourish and provide a unique platform for members of the public supporting arts-related projects.”

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