Moree Plains Gallery Director Vivien Thompson, left, Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall and Moree Plains Gallery Curator Hannah Williamson in front of the old air conditioning units soon to be replaced. (photo courtesy of the Moree Champion)
THE preservation of precious art work and cutting electricity costs don’t usually go hand in hand, but with the assistance of a State Government grant, that’s exactly what the Moree Plains Art Gallery will be working towards in the next few months.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall was in Moree last Friday to announce an Arts and Cultural Development program grant of $27,500 which will go towards the complete overhaul of the gallery’s air-conditioning system.
“The Moree Plains Art Gallery is a wonderful community asset and a pleasure to visit so I’m delighted this funding has been secured and pleased the government has put its hand up to help with this important project,” Mr Marshall said.
“Presently the air-conditioning unit is located on the upstairs balcony of the gallery; it’s proved to be an impractical spot as it has limited ventilation and the vibrations and water leakage from the system is causing irreparable damage to this heritage listed building.
“So the plan is to move the system to an outside garden area which will improve its effectiveness and efficiency rating and with that follows a reduction in electricity costs.”
Mr Marshall said the other important factor to the overhaul was a humidifier would be connected to the system.
“The gallery is home to a wonderful collection of carvings by the traditional owners of the land, the Kamilaroi people,” he said. “Over time wooden artefacts are damaged by the dry air, they become quite brittle so the solution is to change the conditions in the gallery, adding moisture to the atmosphere.”
Moree Plains Art Gallery Director Vivien Thompson said they were very excited to be successful in their application and grateful for the support from the State Government.
“The project will be jointly funded; we’ve received $13,750 from the Moree Plains Shire Council and the gallery will contribute $13,000,” Mrs Thompson said.
“It’s an exciting project and will result in a significant cut in electricity costs and make a huge difference to our ability to preserves these wonderful carvings.”