Council welcomes Premier’s support for new art gallery

Published on 17 May 2018

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Rockhampton Regional Council has welcomed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s support to build a new Rockhampton Art Gallery.

Responding to a question from Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke in State Parliament yesterday, Premier Palaszczuk said ‘We will do everything we can to see the dream of the member for Rockhampton come true. This collection is Queensland’s treasure.’

Rockhampton Art Gallery Director Bianca Acimovic said it was fantastic to hear the Premier speak so passionately about the $31.5 million project.

“We currently have one of the most nationally significant collections of Australian early modernist paintings sitting in storage simply because we don’t have enough space to display them,” Mrs Acimovic said.

“The story of Rockhampton Art Gallery’s enviable art collection is a remarkable tale of imagination, philanthropy, hard work and cultural pride.

“In less than five years in the 1970s the Rockhampton Art Gallery's collection was augmented by around 400 new works of modern Australian painting.

“Using money from donations, local government and the recently established Australia Council for the Arts, Gallery committee members, including then Mayor Rex Pilbeam, architect Neil McKendry, Gallery Director Don Taylor, and the Bishop of Rockhampton, Right Reverend John Bayton, selected and purchased important mid-twentieth century pieces and added works from just about every significant figure in modernist Australian art to the Gallery's collection.

“The four men 'had the vision to create what is arguably the finest collection in regional Queensland and one of the best in regional Australia'.

“As the Premier said in Parliament yesterday, ‘It needs an art gallery so that everyone can see it’.

“We couldn’t agree more and Council wants to work closely with all levels of Government to secure the necessary funding for this project so we can turn that into reality,” Mrs Acimovic said.