$5.8 million gallery ready to open its doors
AFTER decades of work, the $5.8 million Lismore Regional Gallery and Quadrangle project is completed and ready to be unveiled.
The site at old Lismore High School off Keen Street will have its grand opening Saturday October 28.
Lismore Regional Gallery Director Brett Adlington said a gallery for Lismore was first mooted as far back as 1901.
In 1954, Council opened the previous gallery premises in Molesworth Street as a 'temporary gallery'.
Mr Adlington said it has taken decades of discussion, funding applications and hard work.
"The Lismore Regional Gallery is now a functional, modern and beautiful facility that we can be proud of as a regional city," he said.
"We have four times the space, a climate controlled, flood-free storage area for our permanent collection of more than 1000 pieces and a friendly and welcoming environment for visitors and locals.
"There has been so much effort from so many individuals to get us to this point. It's overwhelming, it's incredible, it's exciting... it feels a bit surreal to finally be here."
It is estimated the new gallery will see visitation of 55,000 annually, boosting Lismore's economy by $1.8 million.
The new gallery was designed by Bangalow-based architect Dominic Finlay-Jones, who also designed the award-winning Lismore City Hall refurbishment.
Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said it will become a strong anchor for the city centre, with benefit to the CBD.
"I am so honoured to open this amazing new facility and to see the legacy of so many years of hard work by so many finally come to fruition," Cr Smith said.
"It is a truly great day for Lismore."
The Lismore Regional Gallery and Quadrangle project was funded with $2.85 million from the federal government's Stronger Region's Fund, $120,000 from the Lismore Quadrangle Pledge Campaign, $410,000 from the state government, $126,800 in other public donations, and a $500,000 donation from the Margaret Olley Arts Trust.
Council funded the remainder with borrowings of up to $1.9 million.
The program for the grand opening on Saturday, 28 October is as follows:
From 4pm: 100 Wonderplace's 'Artkeepers' project in the Quadrangle
5.30pm: Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony in the Lismore Quadrangle
5.45pm: Speeches and official opening
6.30pm: Gallery open to public visitors
6.30pm: Tralala Blip will play in the Quadrangle
After the grand opening, Lismore Regional Gallery opening hours will be: Tuesday and Wednesday 10am to 4pm, Thursday 10am to 6pm, and Friday/Saturday/Sunday 10am to 4pm.