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Acclaimed artist continues support for regional gallery

By June 9, 2022Gallery, News

One of Australia’s most acclaimed artists, John Olsen is visiting Orange this week, continuing his support for the recently extended Orange Regional Gallery.

While in Orange he will present ‘An Evening with John Olsen’, a fundraising event in support of acquisitions for the Gallery’s permanent collection. Tickets to the Friday night fundraiser sold out within the first couple of days, raising $5,000 for the Gallery’s collection.

John Olsen visited Orange Regional Gallery in late 2020 to view the construction site and view plans for the extension. He also took the opportunity to view the Gallery’s permanent collection.

During the visit, Mr Olsen was so impressed by the developments, he spontaneously offered a major painting, a bronze sculpture and four works on paper to the Gallery.

SPECIAL VISIT: Australian artist John Olsen with Councillor Mel McDonell and Mayor Jason Hamling at Orange Regional Gallery with the painting he donated to the Gallery.

“I just thought I could play a small part in making the pudding plumper,” John Olsen said.

‘When I saw the highly sophisticated extension, I thought how exciting it was that the Gallery will now play more of a prominent part in the community. When I heard about the Conservatorium of Music [relocating to the same precinct] as well, I thought, ‘Wow, this is going to be such a wonderful thing for the people of Orange’”.

Orange Mayor Jason Hamling says Mr Olsen’s support and major donations are greatly appreciated.

“It’s wonderful that an Australian artist of Mr Olsen’s international standing is acknowledging Council’s support for the arts in this way. His donation of these works is a major contribution to the cultural life of our community and offers local and visiting audiences an even richer experience in Orange,” Cr Hamling said.

John Olsen’s painting, ‘Flight to Minderoo’ is currently displayed in the recently refurbished Gallery reception.

Orange City Council Community Services Committee chair, Cr Mel McDonell, says the Gallery is one of the treasures of the Orange community.

“It’s a sign of the quality of our regional gallery and how it’s managed, that events like this and donations of this quality happen,” Cr Mel McDonell said.

“For an internationally renowned artist to donate artworks worth $400,000 is a vote of confidence in the place where they will be on show to the community.”

“The community of Orange loves this Gallery and our public art is something that gets visitors and locals talking.”

Director of Orange Regional Gallery, Bradley Hammond, is looking forward to discussing key works and moments from Mr Olsen’s life with the artist in the new Gallery Theatre on Friday evening.

“John Olsen is an endlessly inventive and brilliant artist who has developed a unique way of seeing and interpreting the landscape,” Brad Hammond said. “His work is familiar to many people and he sits alongside other great Australian artists such as Fred Williams, Sidney Nolan and Brett Whiteley who each left us their own unique vision.”

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