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Air Force Museum of New Zealand to Farewell Pop Up Penguins with Free Public Display

After providing a summer of fun for Pop Up Penguin trail hunters, 120 brightly coloured penguin sculptures will go on display at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand at Wigram, Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February, 2021. 

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After nine weeks on display in and around Christchurch, the Pop Up Penguins art trail will come to an end on Sunday 31st January 2021.

Over summer the 120 brightly coloured sculptures have delighted trail followers, who have searched for the penguins from the city centre to Lyttelton, Kaiapoi, Akaroa and everywhere in between.

Before the penguins are sent to their permanent homes they will be gathered one last time in a special display at the Air Force Museum in Wigram, Christchurch on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February. This is an open and free event which the project organisers hope will be a joyful celebration for the thousands of people who have fallen in love with the penguins over the summer.

In the nine weeks of the trail, the Pop Up Penguins official app has been downloaded by over 10,500 people, who have collected penguins just under 300,000 times. The app has been generously supported by sponsors and supporters who have awarded trail followers with free ice creams, coffees, stickers, activity books and many more exciting competition prizes.

On Tuesday 16th February the large penguins and a small number of little penguins will be sold at an auction run by the project’s Presenting Partner Harcourts. Wild in Art has already received over 130 registration enquiries to bid on the penguins with many participating in the auction from across the country via telephone bidding. It is hoped that the sale of the penguins will raise much needed funds for their recipient charity, Cholmondeley Children’s Centre, who due to Covid-19 had to cancel their major fundraising events in 2020. Wild in Art will give 75% of the proceeds of the auction to the charity. Tickets to the auction can be purchased from EventFinda.

The 65 little penguins that were decorated by schools and were also part of the public art trail will be returned to their schools after the Farewell Event. Each school took part in the project’s Learning Programme which taught students about climate change, penguin conservation and the Antarctic. Many of the schools had taken part in Christchurch Stands Tall, Wild in Art’s first event in the city which was held in 2014.

In the last 12 years, Wild in Art has helped raise over $29 million for charities and injected $4.6 million into the arts sector through the commissioning of artists to decorate the many diverse shaped sculptures they have produced for events across the globe. The company, which is based in the UK, has been hit hard by restrictions coming from the Covid-19 pandemic, which makes this New Zealand event all the more special for being the only sculpture trail launched in 2020.

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