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May 15, 2021

Pavilion planned for gallery cafe

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The Tweed River Art Gallery’s multi-million-dollar extension to house the showpiece Margaret Olley Art Centre is set to be enhanced even further with the construction of a pavilion for the gallery’s popular cafe at a cost of around $200,000.

Tweed Shire councillors have unanimously approved a plan by the Tweed River Art Gallery Foundation for it to fully fund the cafe pavilion extension, with more than half the cost to be met by foundation directors, former deputy prime minister Doug Anthony, and Ashby Utting, who have promised $100,000 each.

Mr Anthony’s family has been a huge pillar of support for the gallery, having donated the land the gallery sits on.

The foundation’s board in December accepted the two offers of private funding to build the pavilion ‘as a matter of priority concurrently and in conjunction with the Margaret Olley Art Centre, thereby supplanting the enclosure of the cafe verandah at a later date’.

The board and council agree the pavilion will cater for the increased demand for cafe services from an expected higher number of visitors for the Margaret Olley centre.

Council will now proceed with the development assessment and concept designs for the pavilion and acknowledge the gifts from the foundation directors through a formal letter to the board.

Building of the Margaret Olley centre is expected to start within the next six months, after council has accepted a tender for its design and construction.

In November 2011, the Margaret Olley Art Trust offered Tweed River Art Gallery $1 million toward the establishment of the centre in a purpose-built extension. That was matched by the federal government. ? To honour the wish of the late artist, the centre will include a recreation of her studio, and elements of her home and collections.

The trust’s offer also included a gift of works from the artist’s collection, including finished paintings, a large number of works in progress, ephemera and correspondence currently in the possession of the Margaret Olley Estate.?? They make up a current exhibition at the gallery called ‘It’s all about the light: works by Margaret Olley from public collections’, which has drawn thousands of visitors already. They are on show till April 14.

A dedicated Margaret Olley Art Centre Fund has been created to accept tax-deductible donations for the Tweed’s major project of national significance. For further information call the gallery on 6670 2792 or by email [email protected].


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