More than 50,000 people have visited the Noosa Regional Gallery so far this year – equalling 6,000 additional visitors compared to this time last year.
The attendance numbers deliver a new record for the Gallery, off the back of a busy year including 17 exhibitions – all of which were accompanied by workshops, artist talks and range of other public programs.
Gallery Director Michael Brennan said the 2018 program included highlights such as hosting the critically acclaimed ‘Deborah Kelly: No Human Being Is Illegal (In All Our Glory)’ exhibition, as well as the Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize, which also drew a record number of entries.
“The Gallery team has put a lot of energy into developing an exhibition program that showcases the best of our local talent alongside leading artists from around Australia,” Mr Brennan said.
“Each of the exhibitions gave the Noosa community behind-the-scenes access to a remarkable range of creative people.
“2018 also saw the Gallery host ‘Imaginate’, our first ever children’s art festival that ran across three weeks. This was incredibly well attended and is now set to become a biennial event.”
2019 is shaping up to another impressive year, with major projects including an exhibition for the ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE festival, which will see Noosa Regional Gallery as the first venue outside of Victoria to be affiliated with this leading art and climate event.
The much loved Floating Land exhibition will return next year also, and will be anchored across two definitive and iconic Noosa sites – Boreen Point and Noosa National Park.
Floating Land 2019 will be titled ‘point to point’. From the serene shores of Lake Cootharaba at Boreen Point to the rocky outcrops of Noosa National park, visitors will be invited to experience thoughtful, challenging and environmentally aware art works that engage sensitively with the natural environment.
Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington said there was good reason to consider the viability of a new Regional Gallery building, given the increasing success and attendance figures of the existing Noosa Regional Gallery.
“The current gallery is located on the bottom floor of the Tewantin Council building, and that means it is extremely limited in terms of the sort of exhibitions that can be mounted,” Mr Wellington said.
“There is no storage space, the ceiling heights are quite low, and the gallery’s position means it has very limited public visibility. It’s nice to be near the river, but there is almost no passing foot traffic.
“The issue of a new gallery is discussed quite often within Council. I hope that we can find an opportunity in next year’s budget to carry out a feasibility study. Noosa deserves a Regional Gallery of distinction that becomes a must-see destination for visitors and a source of pride for residents.”