31 December 2011
From the Gallery
By Linda Elliott
31 December 2011
John Coburn, Night Performance (ud), gouche on board, from the exhibition Gifted: The Friends of the Gallery
This year has been an extraordinary year with a host of exciting exhibitions and programs. The year started with refurbishments to the lower gallery floors post the December storm. Whilst this did cause some disruption to the exhibition schedule, more public programs and events were created.
January saw the very successful family-focused exhibition Swoop: Visions of Flight. As a cultural facility of Wagga Wagga City Council, the Gallery enjoys extensive opportunities to collaborate with other departments within the organisation. For Swoop, the Gallery worked with the Botanic Gardens to develop programs that encompassed not only visual arts, but performative arts based around visions of flight and the world of birds. This saw activities developed by and for audiences who might otherwise not encounter the Gallery's collection. Throughout the school holidays there were activity days at the Gallery as well as at the Botanic Gardens. Families came and went, made bats and birds, learnt about mark making, played games that educated them about the lives of birds and participated in performances by the Swoop Swoop Gang. Swoop: Visions of Flight is the first of collection- based exhibition that encouraged interaction in multi-disciplinary ways.
February saw the Love Your Gallery Friends Membership Drive, which resulted in a number of new members joining the Friends of the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery.
There are currently two nationally-touring exhibitions on the road - Women with Clever Hands: Gapuwiyak Miyalkurruwurr Gong Djambatjmala and Tour De Force: In Case Of Emergency Break Glass. Women with Clever Hands has just finished a very successful exhibition and public programs visit to Tamworth Regional Gallery, and Tour De Force has just opened at the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in Townsville.
Partnerships have been forged with Charles Sturt University's School of Communication and Creative Industries with an artist in residence by Virginia Kaiser. Virginia presented workshops at the University and Gallery to theatre and production students, the members of Wingadhan Waggadha Waybarra: Women of Wagga Weaving (WoWW Project) and the general public. The highlight for the WoWW Project was the culmination of 18 months of work in the exhibition Giilangbang Bangamalanha: Sharing Stories. Since the establishment of the WoWW Project in 2009, the participants - including local Aboriginal Elders, women and students alongside weaving enthusiasts from all backgrounds - have led a local revival in fibre practices. They have explored the Riverina's heritage and exchanged skills and techniques with weavers from across Australia. This exhibition was testament to this revival.
2011 saw the launch of the Lunchtime Lecture Series. Working in partnership with TAFE Riverina - Wagga Wagga Campus, the gallery provided a series of events to encourage greater interaction with our exhibitions and collections. Our very own Michael Scarrone talked about the National Art Glass Collection, while TAFE lecturers Denis O'Connor and Andy Totman talked about Adrift and Goya: Los Caprichos respectively.
A number of these lectures also formed part of the Wagga Wagga City Council's 2011 Winter Cultural Festival, Masters and Apprentices. The gallery presented two remarkable exhibitions from the collections, Masters of Print and Masters of Glassalso in association with the winter festival.
The year has finished with great exhibitions, particularly Gifted: The Friends of the Gallery.This exhibition celebrates thirty years of generosity: an astonishing collection of prints, paintings, ceramics and glass donated by the Friends of the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery.
Don't forget to bring your visiting family or friends to the Art Gallery over the holidays. Please note that our opening hours are slightly modified.
Saturday 31 December: 12 noon - 4pm
Sunday 1 January (New Year's Day): CLOSED
Monday 2 January: CLOSED
Regular opening hours will resume from Tuesday 3 January onwards.
Gifted: The Friends of the Gallery, 14 October 2011 - 8 January 2012
Growl: Backyard, Farmyard and Beyond... 25 November 2011 - 8 January 2012
Narelle Thomas: A Personal Journey - Kakadu, Kimberleys and beyond... 25 November 2011 - 15 January 2012
Margaret Carnegie Gallery
Ron McBurnie: Metal as Anything, 18 November 2011 - 29 January 2012
National Art Glass Gallery
Momentary Reflections: Kristel Britcher, Melinda Willis and Christopher Boha, 9 December 2011 - 11 March 2012