Sandra Preston – Chair

Sandra is a senior public sector leader with a career spanning 20 years in policy development, strategic leadership, and change implementation. She has led policy change on many of NZ’s most pressing issues such as housing and Treaty settlements.

As an art lover, Sandra has been collecting contemporary NZ art for over a decade. Building an art collection has become a way of life, and Sandra has developed relationships with private galleries and artists across the country. She loves the way art challenges identities, tells powerful stories, and helps us see things differently.

Sandra considers it a special privilege to be able to advocate for art and the Dowse as a Trustee of the Dowse Foundation. She sees her role as helping to promote art as a living expression of our communities, and supporting the vital role public galleries play in facilitating community access to the arts.

Sandra holds a masters in environmental management and policy from Lincoln University.

Sandra Preston

Karl Chitham

Karl Chitham (Ngā Puhi) is the Director of The Dowse Art Museum and Petone Settlers Museum Te Whare Whakaaro o Pito-one. He was previously Curator of Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga and has held curatorial roles at Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa, University of Waikato, Whakatane Museum & Gallery and Objectspace.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Sculpture from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland and has been involved in the arts in New Zealand in a variety of roles as an educator, writer, curator and as an artist.

With significant experience as a leader in the arts sector, Chitham is a strong believer in the transformative power of the arts and is proud to be a part of The Dowse Foundation and lead the Dowse team who care for, share and collect the rich visual culture of Aotearoa.

Karl Chitham

Simon Mark

Dr Simon Mark was born in Upper Hutt, and his mother’s family lived in Lower Hutt for many years.
Simon has worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas, most recently at Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts, Massey University. Previous roles include at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, as trade commissioner in Fiji, at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, a short stint in the 1990s as director of the Museum Directors’ Federation, and for Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) in Vanuatu.

Simon has a PhD from the University of Auckland, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts fromToi Rauwhārangi Massey University College of Creative Arts. He has exhibited in Aotearoa, China, India and Nepal. In 1996 he co-curated, with Ralph Regenvanu, the exhibition Contemporary Art of Vanuatu. Simon is the recipient of the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal, and is currently president of VSA.

Simon Mark

Jhana Millers

Jhana Millers is the owner of Jhana Millers Gallery, Wellington’s newest commercial art gallery, which opened in July 2018 in central Wellington. Jhana Millers Gallery works with emerging and mid-late career artists from around New Zealand and Australia, and recently exhibited at the 2021 Auckland Art Fair.

Jhana holds a Master of Fine Arts from Toi Rauwhārangi Massey University College of Creative Arts, Wellington, and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Whitireia New Zealand. When working as an artist, Jhana exhibited nationally and internationally, including in Australia, Munich and New York.

Jhana has a range of experience in management, curation and administration of galleries and arts-related projects, and recently helped organise the Face to Face Portrait Festival and Fired Up Festival of Ceramics. Before starting Jhana Millers Gallery, Jhana worked at Toi Rauwhārangi Massey University College of Creative Arts, Wellington, managed the non-profit gallery 30upstairs and worked at the Wellington Sculpture Trust, running projects and events such as Parking Day Wellington. Jhana has been on the Board of Enjoy Gallery and was a founding member of the artist run space, The See Here.

Jhana Millers

Joan Smith

Joan has a special interest in Dowse Art Museum’s collection of ceramics and jewellery. She was delighted to join the Foundation as a trustee not long before the redevelopment of The Dowse. As a trustee Joan supports the continued growth of the collections that are of local and national significance. She strongly supports the goal of the Foundation of making the collections and exhibitions more accessible, especially in online digital form.

Joan comes from a family of talented crafters. Her grandmother was a professional milliner. A passion for ceramics developed during Joan’s childhood growing up in Temuka, the home of Temuka Pottery. As a young adult she was introduced to Len Lye’s work before his work was recognised in New Zealand. This ignited an interest in sculpture and the interface between science and art.

Joan has considerable governance experience of NGOs and philanthropic organisations to contribute to The Dowse Foundation.

Joan Smith

Corinne Cole

Corinne is an art enthusiast. As a former partner/principal of a large intellectual property firm, she advised on many art related IP issues. This spawned an interest in collecting art and learning more about it.

Corinne has been collecting predominately New Zealand contemporary art for over 20 years. She has made friends with artists, and formed strong relationships with galleries, art institutions and other supporters of the arts. Collecting art and its associated activities is integral to Corinne’s lifestyle.

Her interest extends beyond the art itself, she is interested in the eco-system needed to support artists have the right environment to create their works and survive.

Always keen to learn, Corinne is grateful for the opportunity to join and be involved with the Dowse Art Museum as a Trustee of the Dowse Foundation.

Corinne has served on numerous New Zealand boards and has considerable governance experience to contribute to the Dowse Foundation.

Corinne is a qualified Barrister & Solicitor (currently non-practising), Trans-Tasman Patent Attorney and Australian Trade Marks Attorney. She also has a degree in Marketing.

Corinne Cole