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The collection is unique and it could not be left to chance that in the course of time such a rare collection would remain intact.  This was probably the last opportunity to make an arrangement with the Upper Hutt City Council and Expressions Trust ensuring the public would become, or at least remain, aware of an important time in New Zealand Art; the first works of our impressionist painters.  It was also important that this era of Upper Hutt's history be safeguarded. Stephanie Cottrill representing Expressions Arts and Entertainment Trust and Max Pederson C.E.O. Upper Hutt City Council and Shirley and I collaborated to establish the guidelines for the gift and its ongoing ramifications.  In March 2009 Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy acknowledged and accepted it on behalf of the city at a function arranged at the mayor's office. Nugent Welch and fellow members (Ducks)                   at Pumpkin Cottage Since that time we have had increasing admiration for the manner in which the Expressions Gallery staff and Jane Vial, under the direction and leadership of Stephanie Cottrill have responded so magnificently to the challenge and multitude of elements involved in the establishment of a nationally recognised and certified Museum Standard Collection Gallery.  This a huge learning curve for everybody involved and required the whole hearted backing from the city council. As a result the exhibition 'Bohemians Of The Brush' was born.  This exhibition utilises the core elements of the gift to portray James Nairn and his fellow artists' efforts in establishing a new, fresh, colourful and more honest New Zealand art right here in Upper Hutt.  These early impressionist painters paralleled a similar but better know group of famous Australian painters, The Heidelberg Group, established about the same time in Melbourne; among them Stretton, Roberts, McGubbin and Conder. 'The Bohemians Of The Brush' was a wonderful success locally, attracting substantial and satisfying numbers of individuals and group viewers from a broad area of Wellington.  Jane Vial and the staff of Expressions created an exhibition that could be condensed to its key elements and packaged and accepted for exhibition over two years by ten public galleries throughout New Zealand.  Thus far these exhibitions have been very well attended and on every occasion it is a toot from Upper Hutt's flute and a real acknowledgement of the role of the other contributing lenders. The standard of the Exhibition 'Bohemians Of The Brush' is such that on 30 April 2011 Expressions won the New Zealand National Museums Award.  The judges stated this award recognised excellence.  It was an outstanding new exhibition project in the Museum sector in Aotearoa New Zealand and demonstrated excellence, relevance and vision. We would like to thank the Council and Expressions Trust for their part in bringing the glimmer of an idea to reality.  We know it hasn't been easy but as Sir Roy McKenzie has said, “The peaks of the past are merely the foothills of the future”.  We both hope the council will continue to strongly support the fine work of Expressions Trust, which benefits the people of Upper Hutt so much. Summer Idyll (Oil) by James Nairn
After thirty years of collecting Pumpkin Cottage Silverstream paintings Shirley and I decided that we would gift these nationally important paintings to the people of Upper Hutt

The Pumpkin Cottage

Summer Idyll (Oil) by James Nairn Nugent Welch and fellow members (Ducks) at Pumpkin Cottage
Copyright © 1999 by Efildoog (E.Cosgrove photography) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.