Big plans for gallery extensions

A $75,000 extension now under way will give Sawtell Art Gallery 50% more space for classes, exhibitions and workshops.

The members of Sawtell Art Group's building committee, Sue Schlechtriem, Elizabeth Soulta, Jenny Malloy, Anita Shooks and Colleen Davies, have been working tirelessly during the past 12 months on the project, with the support of Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser.

Building committee member Jenny Malloy said she hoped the building would be complete in time for it to be used to display work submitted for the 25th Sawtell Art Prize, which will be opened by Mr Fraser on September 29, and will remain open to the public through the school holidays.

“The extension will benefit not just the Sawtell community, but the surrounding Coffs Harbour area,” Mrs Malloy said.

“We have classes running twice daily six days a week and the gallery is open on Sundays.

“We have more than 200 members, not only from Sawtell but from Nambucca, Dorrigo, Woolgoolga and Glenreagh and we have outgrown our space.

“Since the Civic Centre was pulled down we have not had a cultural centre.

“The art gallery has had support from the Coffs Harbour Mayor Keith Rhoades and Richard Holloway from Arts Mid North Coast.”

The $75,000 Building Partnerships grant from the NSW Government has allowed the project, the first stage of a number of planned extensions, to take shape.

The grant funds have provided for new flooring, spotlighting and fittings as well as the expanded space.

Mrs Malloy said they were now looking for grant funds for further stages.  

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