Having an exhibition in the Sarjeant Gallery is a key component of the Tylee Cottage artist residency offered by Wanganui District Council, deputy culture and community manager Pete Gray says.
The council has decided not to ask artists to apply for residency between March 2013 and December 2014, because it is unsure whether there will be a gallery for them to exhibit in.
"An integral part of the Tylee Residency is holding an exhibition in the Sarjeant Gallery. At present we have a number of Tylee Cottage Residency exhibitions already committed. In the light of this we are postponing our call for applications," Mr Gray said.
That position would be reviewed when the gallery's future was decided.
The Sarjeant has only 5 per cent of the earthquake strength currently required for new buildings. The council is considering whether to close it for three to 10 years and move its operations to another building with public space no less than two-thirds of its size.
The council's infrastructure and property committee will discuss the issue on November 13. The council has also applied for government help to fund the $22.5 million needed to strengthen and extend the building.