Ballina gallery opening date set
By Graham Broadhead
AN OPENING date has finally been set for the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina after almost a decade since the idea was first put forward.
And Lyn Cochrane, president of Ballina Arts and Craft Centre Inc the organisation behind the push for the gallery in the old council chambers, Cherry Street says 'it feels surreal'.
"It's exciting for a lot of people. All the artists in the region," she said.
"And it's a good thing for the community.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the gallery doors open."
That will happen on Friday, October 26, with Ballina's mayor, Cr Phillip Silver, making the joint announcement with Mrs Cochrane this week. The gallery will have four exhibition rooms and a cafe, but the lease arrangements for the cafe haven't been finalised.
It was the late Grace Cruice who put forward the idea to have a gallery in Ballina when she called a public meeting in 1998.
After some false starts the council decided to renovate the old council chambers built in the 1920s and decommissioned in the 1980s to be used as a gallery.
It was the sixth site proposed for the gallery, but Cr Silver reckons it's the best.
"It's the best outcome we could have hoped for," he said.
He said he was pleased the council was supporting the artists of the shire.
The first exhibition will be the annual event by BACCI members.