Lismore needs gallery
Right now we have an opportunity to engage in a project that will enhance Lismore in many ways. The proposed Margaret Olley Arts Centre can bring much more to Lismore than just an art gallery.
I would love to see some of the fantastic exhibitions that travel this country but don’t come to Lismore due to inadequate facilities.
There is talk about the Lismore hub. What is at the hub? 65% occupancy rates of shopfronts? Cafes that are predominately not open on Saturday afternoons or Sundays? A gallery in a building that was on the condemned list in the 1950s? A town centre that is dying and is virtually dead from 1pm on Saturday until 9am Monday?
Right now there is a marvellous opportunity to build a premium gallery in Lismore, breathing some vitality into the CBD. Both Tweed and Grafton regional galleries have in excess of 40,000 visitors a year. With Council having to fund less than half the cost of construction, the time to act is now, while the federal funding is available.
For Lismore to be the leading centre in this region we need a first- rate art gallery. After all, this is supposed to be one of the country’s leading arts regions.