Lismore needs colour and movement

The only single topic that has generated as many letters to the editor as traffic lights in my time in the chair is the proposed Margaret Olley Arts Centre.

Most people are overwhelmingly in favour.

I attended the launch of the new “Lismore – come to the heart” branding and marketing campaign this week and one of the things I noticed was the campaign brings into focus our arts community, as well as the architecture of our town.

If we want to keep our colourful community as vibrant as we can, we do need to change; that’s the thing about vibrancy, it fades if it stays still.

A top-notch art gallery would capitalise on one of the aspects of our region that already inspire and move people: our artists.

The argument that it’s either the gallery or roads is simply wrong; Council funding and government grants don’t work like that. Council is not allowed to simply switch money that’s been allocated to one project by the federal government to something else.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on art and I’m not someone who cries easily but I was moved to tears at two different exhibitions this year.

One was Geoff Hannah’s story of making the magnificent Hannah Cabinet, a wonderful labour of love – not everyone could hear it though because the gallery couldn’t contain the number of people and they were spilling into the street.

Isn’t it time we took the risk to develop Lismore into the creative hub it could be?


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