Where to with a new WAG building?

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Council wants to hear the Warrnambool community’s views about a preferred site for a new Warrnambool Art Gallery (WAG) building.

This important question follows community engagement in April this year when the Warrnambool community was asked to suggest ideas about how WAG should look and function in the future.

Warrnambool Mayor Cr Richard Ziegeler said the move to review WAG’s strategic direction was brought about by the challenges now being experienced in the existing building.

“Due to limited space the WAG can show only a small fraction of its permanent collection, it does not have an appropriately sized, purpose-built space for its unique collection of Aboriginal artefacts and art work and nor does the existing building provide scope to generate a reasonable income,” Cr Ziegeler said.

“A new building would not only be culturally enriching for the city, it would also allow the WAG to generate income while a revitalised gallery would be an economic driver as it would attract people to Warrnambool.”

The feedback from stakeholders including the Aboriginal community, Friends of the Gallery, visitors to the city, educational institutions, social enterprise, business, philanthropists and tourism operators was considered in the strategic planning for the WAG.

After the April consultation a feasibility study was finalised which explored the advantages and disadvantages of a new building for the WAG at either the current Timor Street site or a new site at Cannon Hill.

“We need to know how the community feels about where a new WAG building would go if funding were available,” Cr Ziegeler said.

 “A new building would mean that people could see more of the WAG’s permanent collection, there would be a dedicated and appropriately reverent space for Aboriginal art and artefacts and we would also be able to host more visiting exhibitions.

‘The value of Warrnambool collection is such that we have to ensure it’s secure preservation for generations to come.

“The intention is also for a building that would allow the WAG to generate its own income through an expanded retail outlet, café and space for events.”

To find out more and have your say on the WAG, go to www.yoursaywarrnambool.com.au