VOLUNTEERS and staff got a quick sneak preview inside the new Lismore Regional Gallery, off Keen Street, which has finally finished construction and is getting ready to move in its prized artworks from the old gallery on Molesworth Street.
The new gallery boast two levels and a large well equipped loading dock, including offices off to the side for staff and large expansive windows that look out on a rejuvenated park area in front of the library.
The main exhibition space is upstairs which is a 140 square metres and has been named after Margaret Olley with another three spaces upstairs and an additional space downstairs.
Lismore Regional Gallery director Brett Adlington said the downstairs space will support exhibitions by emerging artists, mainly local, while upstairs galleries will offer a ranger of experiences from touring shows, local community projects and gallery curated shows.
"Downstairs there is office space, multifunction space for workshops, events, artist talks, film screenings, artist in residence space, and a loading dock and delivery space for taking delivery of artworks and crates which in the old building we had to do the delivering on the street," Mr Adlington said.
"That's about 400 metres of exhibition space compared to about a 120 square metres in the old gallery,' he said.
"They will start operating in this office space by the end of next week, and the collection will come in the weeks following that."
Mr Adlington said ensuring signage, lighting, painting racks and volunteers were ready for the opening October/November would be the focus following them settling into the building.
"There will be a number of exhibitions that will be on," he said.
"One of them will be a big secret and of course the permanent collection - there will be a dedicated gallery space so that will be on display.
"Another will be The Dreaming Trails exhibition with just opened at Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre near Coffs Harbour."
He said the exhibition spaces would be flexible based on the size and type of artwork being exhibited with no set 'hierarchy' in place for what exhibition went where.
"We have seen people getting in contact with us from across Australia that are keen to work with us," he said.
"We had a pretty strong reputation in the old building but it has jumped to a different level now."
Volunteer Sky Haughton, of Federal, said he thought the building was really beautiful.
"I like the combination of the old materials - the old floors being polished back and the old timber slabs being repurposed in the roof.
"It gives a really nice feel and a really nice touch to keep those things showing through."