Purpose-built at a cost of $5.8 million the Lismore Regional Gallery and Quadrangle project off Keen Street opened in late October 2017 with a range of exciting, innovative and high-profile works. These included original paintings by Margaret Olley (after whom one of the exhibition galleries is named, others honouring former Mayor Jenny Dowell and patron Vicki Fayle), modern Bundjalung and other Aboriginal works and historical artefacts, and local woodworker Geoff Hannah’s astounding timber and shell inlay cabinet, valued at more than $1.0 million.*
The two-level building replaces the ‘temporary gallery’ in Molesworth Street that was the City’s only public art space from 1954 until this year.
“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,” said director Brett Adlington
Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said the new gallery expects to greet 55,000 visitors annually, boosting Lismore’s economy by $1.8 million. It was designed by Bangalow architect Dominic Finlay-Jones, who also designed the award-winning Lismore City Hall refurbishment.
It 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. Lismore City Council funded the remainder with borrowings of $1.9 million.
Lismore Regional Gallery has free entry and is open Tuesday and Wednesday 10am to 4pm, Thursday 10am to 6pm, and Friday/Saturday/Sunday 10am to 4pm.
* A fundraising campaign is being conducted in the hope of purchasing Geoff Hannah’s unique creation and keeping it in Lismore.