To be housed in the Old Dairy Building at Retford Park Estate, the design adopts a sympathetic approach that seeks to intertwine old with new. The site was gifted to the National Trust of Australia (NSW) by the late James Fairfax and the subject building is identified as having heritage significance. An adaptive reuse will give this magnificent building a new and enduring life and provide considerable cultural benefits for the local community and beyond.
A grant of $2,490,000 has been contributed by the NSW State Government through the Regional Cultural Fund towards capital expenditure. Wingecarribee Shire Council has also pledged a grant for a substantial portion of the annual operating costs of the regional gallery. To date, we have received philanthropic pledges totalling $690,000 and this campaign seeks to raise the remaining $2.3million required for the construction phase of the project.
The Southern Highlands is a vibrant, growing community with a rich history, a dynamic tourism industry and increasingly a home for creative artists as well as traditional industries such as equestrian, cattle and wine growing. For over 30 years there have been efforts to build a regional gallery and now the dream will become a reality. We have the chance to showcase our local artists, to host exhibitions from around Australia, to share collections and to provide a great opportunity for our children to engage with art.
Wingecarribee is one of the few shires of its size and population which does not have a regional gallery. The children who attend our 32 primary and secondary schools currently travel for more than an hour, if at all, to experience exhibitions and cultural programs, and at considerable expense and time.
Your generous donations will help make history and establish the Southern Highlands Regional Gallery as a state-of-the-art institution ready to house thriving eduction, exhibition and artist-in-residency programs.