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Jonathan Smart Gallery has been showcasing contemporary New Zealand art since 1988. The gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of top drawer, contemporary visual art, ranging from painting and photography to sculpture and moving image work.

In The Christchurch Press of December 2005, Arts Editor Christopher Moore noted that “Jonathan Smart Gallery has become an integral part of the city’s cultural landscape… an institution (that) by accident or design refuses to play the role of hushed temple of the arts… This is a place of good humour, good talk, and ferociously restorative coffee…”  

Exhibitions change on a monthly basis, with a variety of solo and group shows by artists ranging from established or senior practitioners to those very early in their career. Or, as local critic Andrew Paul Wood described the gallery in a recent Avenues Magazine: “Jonathan Smart Gallery tends to the more cutting and playful edge, but with many big names also, as well as younger emerging artists. Jonathan Smart is one of the universe’s gentlemen and a jolly nice guy.”

As an art history major, free-lance writer, critic and devotee of Aotearoa’s southern island (otherwise known as Te Wai Pounamu, or The Waka of the Gods), I made a decision to live, work and raise a family in Christchurch, New Zealand.

I have also remained equally committed to the contemporary New Zealand artists with whom I have the privilege of working. It is their projects, their energy and their motivation that distinguish Jonathan Smart Gallery.

I have been a teacher, a Churchill Fellow, and still write a little – most recently an essay on New Zealand’s 2001 Venice Biennale project for a cultural studies text out of Victoria University called “On Display” - and of course, the Gallery website.

High country angling is my other calling, which along with cricket and Iyengar yoga are the only other extra-curricular activities worthy of note here.

What must be documented however, is my son Duncan’s ability at snowboarding, my daughter Lily’s ease with people, and the enduring love of my wonderful wife Jane. My thanks and love are to you all.

Jonathan Smart