Gita has devoted much of her life to promoting peace and, along with her late husband Anthony, is the co-founder of the NGO “Peace Through Unity” (OPTU) www.peacethroughunity.info Encouraging others to become a ‘Star’, she writes:
“I cannot remember a time when Anthony and I – and the work to which we are committed, have not in some way connected with the aims and vision of the Sarjeant Gallery. The Gallery staff offered advice and support throughout the creation ofHandspan and has through the years hosted several OPTU events”.
“In my view the Sarjeant Gallery’s greatest service and most enduring gift to the local, national as well as global community is its commitment to provide a space dedicated to encourage the human creative spirit with focus on widening and enhancing our vision through the arts. The Gallery forms an important part of the international network through which all aspects of the arts and culture from any part of the world, past and present, is displayed, and through which public lectures and educational activities are continuously informing and nurturing our appreciation and understanding of one another. There was never a time in human history where the urge to express and communicate through the arts didn’t play a crucial role in our life’s journey: the struggle to survive, the mayhem of war, the hopelessness of poverty, the agony of loss, as well as the enduring beauty of relationships, courage of spirit and wonder of life – all constituting an invaluable record through the ages, which challenges and inspires us to move forwards – onwards”.
The redeveloped Whanganui Sarjeant Gallery will be able to increase its educational programmes, display and preserve its internationally recognised collection and enhance its cooperation with the local/global community.
It is up to us and future generations to honour the Sarjeant Gallery founder’s faith in and gift to the town: ‘for the inspiration of ourselves and those who come after us’.
It is our time, not merely to restore the old building but also to carry and extend the vision of its founder and bring it into the future, so it can – and will – continue to be the House of Inspiration: Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui.