Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, Thelma McCarthy AM and Armidale Cultural Centre and Keeping Place Board Chair Rose Lovelock opening the $900,000 gallery and function space extension today.
Friday, 31 May 2019
A NEW era for Aboriginal art and culture in Armidale has been unveiled today with Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall officially opening the $900,000 expanded gallery and function space at the Armidale Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place.
Last year the State Government provided an $846,000 grant through the Regional Cultural Fund to complete the project which was first envisioned in 1999.
Mr Marshall said the new gallery was “a masterpiece”, delivering on plans initiated 20 years ago to provide a larger space to showcase local and regional Aboriginal artists and culture.
“I am so proud today as we celebrate this expanded facility, which has been worked on by so many people for so long,” Mr Marshall said.
“This will stand as a monument to the dedication and talent of Aboriginal artists from across the Northern Tablelands.
“I congratulate ACCKP Director Daisy William and Board Chair Rose Lovelock, who alongside their team, has lobbied tirelessly fund and construct a second gallery and create a space which Aboriginal artists can come and exhibit their works.
“I hope this gallery will be a driver for increased art sales, providing an income for Aboriginal artists and allowing the centre to increase its fantastic cultural programs.”
The project also saw the construction of a new off-street carpark, adjacent to the Keeping Place, and a new entrance to improve access for the elderly and people with a disability.
Mr Marshall said the gallery would play an important role in preserving and promoting the region’s rich Aboriginal culture for generations to come.
“Currently there are more than 60 artists who utilise the ACCKP to showcase their work and tell their stories,” he said.
“The centre has a great history of educating the wider community about local Aboriginal culture and now with an increased space, it will be able to extend those teachings to an even larger audience.
“I hope over time more people, in particular young aboriginal artists, are encouraged to make and show their work at the gallery and continue the traditions of their Elders.”