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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Margaret Olley Art Centre shapes up

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The concrete slab is laid at the Margaret Olley Art Centre and work is continuing on the walls and roof structure. Photo supplied
The concrete slab is laid at the Margaret Olley Art Centre and work is continuing on the walls and roof structure. Photo supplied

The popular Tweed River Art Gallery in Murwillumbah will be closed for two weeks from the end of this month as construction of the $3 million Margaret Olley Art Centre continues apace.

The centre, an extension of the gallery, is taking shape with the concrete slab recently laid and work continuing on the walls and roof.

The gallery and cafe will be closed to the public from Monday 30 September to Tuesday 15 October inclusive, owing to the building works on the extension and cafe pavilion, and will reopen on Wednesday 16 October.

Gallery director Susi Muddiman said it was unfortunate the whole facility had to be closed for the two weeks, ‘but I’m sure our patrons will understand that this an exciting and necessary part of the process of building a bigger and better Gallery’.

The closure will allow modifications to the entry to the gallery, internal renovations to the retail outlet, offices, and an airlock added to the front entrance to maximise sustainable climatic controls at the gallery’s entrance.

Ms Muddiman said the pavilion extension to the cafe would enhance visitor experience of the facility.

‘The construction of the pavilion will cater for the expected increase in demand for gallery cafe services when the Margaret Olley Art Centre opens, as well as providing additional employment and economic opportunities,’ she said.

‘The pavilion will now provide for the overall cafe floor area envisaged in the original plans for the gallery. It will take further advantage of our lovely panoramic views over the Tweed Valley and the Tweed River.

The Margaret Olley Art Centre will honour the much-loved artist’s wish that her artist’s studio and elements of her home be re-created in a purpose-built extension to the gallery.

The centre will include re-creations of rooms in the artist’s famous home, including the Hat Factory, and the Yellow Room. There will also be additional exhibition space, an education workshop facility, a library, collection storage, multimedia areas and a standalone artist-in-residence studio.

Funding for the overall centre project includes $1 million contributions from both the Margaret Olley Art Trust and a federal government community infrastructure grant, as well as: state government $200,000; Tweed River Art Gallery Foundation $620,000; Friends of the Tweed Valley Art Gallery $80,000; and Tweed Shire Council contributions $1.1 million.

The design and construction of the centre, expected to open in early in 2014, is being undertaken by Alder Constructions Pty Ltd.


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