Community to celebrate expansion of Orange Regional Gallery

Orange residents will be able to see more art exhibitions more often following this week’s official opening of the of the $5.5 million extension to the Orange Regional Gallery.

NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin, will officially open the Extension Project on Friday 3 December at 6.30pm, marking the completion of the year-long construction project.

In a sign of the extra capacity of the gallery, four new simultaneous exhibitions will be open in the expanded new building. The 300-place ticketed event for Friday night’s opening is already booked out.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said he was delighted to see the new extension completed.

“Orange residents have always been proud of our wonderful regional gallery, but now the new extension is finished, it’s becoming clear how the gallery is about to have a greater impact,” Cr Reg Kidd said.

“Having two large exhibition spaces instead of one means we’ll be able to see more of the treasures from the gallery’s permanent collection more often, as well as a steady stream of new shows. The Gallery already has plans to deliver around 20 exhibitions a year for the next two years.”

“I’m excited by the potential of the new 74-seat theatrette as an educational and conference resource for the whole community.”

“Orange City Council couldn’t have delivered this project without the support of the NSW Government and the enthusiastic community fund-raisers. I am so grateful for the incredible job done by the community fund-raisers. Orange is the community that it is because of community members who care so much, and their can-do attitude.”

The Gallery extension was funded by the NSW Government’s Regional Cultural Fund ($4,052,990) and Orange City Council ($1,000,000) with $515,000 in community contributions going towards design costs and fit out.

NSW Minister for the Arts, Don Harwin, believes the new gallery space will be good for the region’s economy.

“The NSW Government is delighted to have thrown its support behind the Gallery with over $4 million in funding,” Mr Don Harwin said. “This has facilitated a beautiful space with expanded capacity that will boost local economic and employment opportunities.”

As well as the official opening of the extension, the four new exhibitions will be opened on Friday evening by Maud Page, Deputy Director and Director of Collections, Art Gallery of NSW.

The extension project includes:

  • a new 270-square-metre contemporary gallery with ground-breaking lighting design,
  • a 74-seat gallery theatre,
  • a new state-of-the-art storage and conservation area and
  • refurbishments to existing spaces, including a smaller exhibition space and the gallery’s front-of-house reception area.

The $515,000 community fundraising campaign paid for a number of fit-out elements, including:

  • a locally built timber reception desk,
  • LED lighting in the exhibition spaces,
  • compactus storage and locally manufactured painting store racking and
  • AV equipment for the new gallery theatre.

Orange Regional Gallery Director Bradley Hammond is excited for the future of the gallery.

“The support for this project from the State Government and Council has been extraordinary, and the local community have contributed in an unprecedented way. A new chapter is about to begin in the Gallery’s history which will enable us to present an exciting program of new exhibitions in contemporary spaces designed to provide the optimum environment in which to experience art. Our upcoming programs will present the best in local art, provide support for emerging artists and bring high quality exhibitions to Orange by nationally and internationally significant artists,” Bradley Hammond said.

“Additionally we will be able to care for and expand our nationally significant collection in state-of-the-art conservation areas and provided better spaces for education and the sharing of ideas.”

The building was constructed by Renascent Regional Pty Ltd. During the project there were 300 workers on site and 90 local businesses were involved.

The extension was designed by Sydney firm Architect Marshall whose previous projects include the extension to the Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay (2012) and an extension to Campbelltown Arts Centre (2009).

/Public Release. View in full here.