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February 29, 2024

Governor-general to open Margaret Olley Art Centre in gala event

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Richmond MP Justine Elliot, left, art gallery director Susi Muddiman, centre, and Friends of the Gallery president Lyn Stewart, during the sod turning for the Margaret Olley Art Centre last year (photo Jeff Dawson). Inset: Part of the late artist’s Paddington studio.

It’s been billed as one of the biggest events of this year’s Australian arts calendar.

The official opening of the Margaret Olley Art Centre (MOAC) in Murwillumbah on Saturday March 15  by governor-general Quentin Bryce in her last official duty outside Canberra is also set to be the Tweed’s gala event of the year.

A full house, including many renowned artists and VIPs from around the country, is expected at the Tweed River Art Gallery where the $4 million extension for the Olley Centre is getting its finishing touches this week for the grand opening.

Gallery director Susi Muddiman said the magnitude of the occasion meant many would miss out on the launch of the centre.

‘While it’s important the general public can be part of the celebration, to launch what will not only be a leading attraction in the national art scene but will also be a jewel in the northern rivers, we simply do not have enough room to cater for all those who would like to attend,’ Ms Muddiman said.

‘RSVPs will be essential to attend. Available space at the venue will mean attendance at the opening will be limited to 800 people, so the message is act quickly to secure a spot.’

Invitations have already been sent to hundreds of gallery friends and supporters plus other official guests.

The Margaret Olley Art Centre includes re-creations of three of the rooms in Margaret Olley’s famous Sydney home, including the Hat Factory and the Yellow Room where she spent many hours painting.

In 2011, the Margaret Olley Art Trust announced the late Australian artist had bequeathed $1 million to establish a re-creation of her studio and elements of her home and wanted it built in the Tweed, where she spent time as a child.

Ms Muddiman said guests at the official opening will be transported to the gallery from another location in the Tweed, because there will be no space available at the gallery for parking.

‘That location will be revealed to community members when they RSVP for the event,’ she said.

‘The journey will add to the ceremony and a sense of arrival for a new era at Tweed Regional Gallery.’

The gallery will be closed to the public on Friday 14 March while preparations are completed for the opening, and there will be no general admission to the gallery on Saturday 15 March.

The Margaret Olley Art Centre will be open to the public for the first time on Sunday 16 March and, to celebrate the new centre, will also be open on Monday 17 March from 10am to 5pm.

The gallery cafe will also be open on these days.

The gallery will be closed to the public on Tuesday 18 March, and re-open on Wednesday 18 March before resuming its opening hours each Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.

To RSVP to Saturday’s opening extravaganza phone (02) 6670 2791 or email [email protected].


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