Work is set to begin on the Orange Regional Gallery’s $5 million extension after today’s ground-breaking ceremony at the north court site.
NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin, joined Mayor Reg Kidd to turn the first sod for the project, a significant chapter in the Gallery’s history.
The Gallery extension is funded by the NSW Government’s Regional Cultural Fund ($4,052,990) and Orange City Council ($1,000,000) with vital community contributions raised through the
Gallery’s fundraising campaign going towards design costs and fit out. Minister Harwin said the NSW Government is committed to supporting projects that create greater opportunity for
community interaction with all forms of artistic expression.
“This project is one of 136 projects across NSW supported by the Regional Cultural Fund that are making a real difference to arts and culture in communities big and small right around the state,” Mr Harwin said.
Mayor Reg Kidd said the project would mark a significant leap forward for the arts in the central west.
“I am thrilled to witness this stage in the history of art and culture in Orange,” Cr Kidd said.
“This project is a perfect example of levels of government working together with the community to build something for the benefit of all the community.
“Coupled with the financial contribution from the NSW Government and from Council, the Gallery and its significant support network is actively fundraising to create a visual arts hub which will deliver the very best in local, national and international art.”
Designed by Sam Marshall, at Architect Marshall, the project includes a 270m2 contemporary gallery with innovative use of natural lighting, as well as a 75 seat gallery theatre.
The purpose-built gallery theatre will be a unique gathering space in Orange for engagement and education programs as well as for wider community use.
A new state-of-the art collection and conservation area is included to protect and grow the Gallery’s nationally significant collection.
The project includes major refurbishments to the reception area and smaller downstairs gallery, while allowing the large existing Alan Sisley Gallery to become a space to regularly showcase highlights from the Gallery’s permanent collection.
Orange City Council’s Services Committee Chair Scott Munro said the project would use mostly local contractors for its completion.
“Council awarded the tender to Renascent Regional Pty Ltd who indicated that 78 per cent of the cost of the project will be delivered by local and regional suppliers,” Cr Munro said.
“I’m excited to see the beginning of this project and I am keen to see the finished project towards the end of next year.”