Great news for Stanthorpe!

Image: Samantha Wantling

By The Stanthorpe Art Gallery Committee

The Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) has successfully secured a Federal Government Building Better Regions (BRR) grant to extend the Stanthorpe Library and Regional Gallery building in Weeroona Park, Stanthorpe. This federal allocation of funding was earmarked for Arts, Culture and Tourism. The region has over years increased tourism and many of the visitors enjoy the arts and culture. This grant will ensure that we increase arts and culture for our own community but also support the burgeoning tourist industry.

The Stanthorpe Art Gallery Committee led by President Christine Sayer are very excited about the BBR Funding. This has been a long journey involving different committees over the years. Mike Roselt (past President), Greg Thoreau who headed the gallery’s building committee, Keith Brownjohn as President from 2016 – 2021 and more recently, Rob Allen, Adrian Ashman and Christine Sayer. All these people and many more have invested time and passion in this project.

The existing much-loved building was designed and constructed 33 years ago and was visionary for its time. Today, it is still a wonderful space for the creative arts: A place where locals and visitors to the region can view exhibitions which are complemented by music in the gallery, workshops and talks; co-located with the library it is a real community hub. Plans for the extension retain the integrity of the original design and provide much needed additional space to both the Gallery and Library. This will accommodate growing community needs and increasing number of visitors to the region.

A new gallery was not achievable in current economic times and in many ways this extension is the better option. It ensures that the gallery stays in Weeroona Park, central to the CBD and in the heart of the community. The extension will address the space issues that both the Gallery and Library are experiencing.

Hidden in the collection storeroom is an eclectic and valuable public art collection that has works from a many artists such as Margaret Olley, William Robinson, and Picasso. The new extension will

ensure that there is space to have the collection permanently exhibited.

We are fortunate to have a large number of active volunteers and members who will be extremely excited about the extension. These committed volunteers have won great respect in the art world as highly trained and professional arts workers.

There may be some disruption during the building process, but all organisations are committed to working together to ensure that we continue to deliver services to the community and minimise inconvenience.

We are very thankful that the SDRC were successful in their application. This generous funding from the Federal Government supports the visions of the Stanthorpe Art Gallery Society Inc. and the Southern Downs Regional Council, which will ensure that the arts and culture of the Granite Belt is nurtured for future generations.

The Stanthorpe community has been a great supporter of the gallery. The Stanthorpe Art Gallery Committee are very much looking forward to working with the SDRC on this project.