It is with a heavy heart Peter Quinn yesterday stepped away from his role overseeing philanthropic fundraising for Shepparton’s game-changing new arts precinct.
Departing the role, Mr Quinn marvelled at the ‘‘lifespan and scope’’ of the project, described as outstanding for Shepparton.
The potential of what the new SAM can be is not lost on Mr Quinn.
He believes it has the ability to change the way Shepparton and the world views the city.
He says the time is right to step away, to ensure new enthusiasm enters the fundraising space for the new SAM.
But he reassures he will be keeping an eye as the new facility unfolds and get involved where possible.
‘‘I’ve enjoyed the involvement, it’s been fantastic,’’ he says.
‘‘I’m looking forward to the project emerging now as really Shepparton’s probably iconic project.’’
He says the foundation is gearing up to complete its core purpose: raising funds to build the project and ensure its ongoing viability into the future.
‘‘We’re now into the genuine and serious fundraising stage and I think we’ve got the skills and the ability to do it,’’ he says.
He talks glowingly of the project, the value of which has largely been vindicated by support from within the arts scene, as well as local, state and federal governments.
Mr Quinn acknowledges not all of the city is on board with the new SAM yet, saying people have different views on arts projects.
‘‘With all of this project’s ambition and scope, there’s going to be people who aren’t on board,’’ he says.
But boiling the bold project down to one key benefit, he concludes ‘‘Shepparton will be on the map’’.
The hipsters are coming.
And it seems we can thank the new Shepparton Art Museum for it.
Incoming SAM Foundation development director Sheila Colwell says the forthcoming cultural epicentre of Shepparton at Victoria Park Lake will bring with it a trail of experimental coffee houses and artistic types to the region, all adding to vibrant more cultured Shepparton.
Ms Colwell has recently come on board withthe SAM FOundation to assist with the next phase of fundraising.
Outgoing chair Peter Quinn yesterday welcomed Ms Colwell.
Luckily, Ms Colwell has no shortage of positives she sees emanating from the new facility.
‘‘It’s going to be a focal point, a beautiful space,’’ she says.
‘‘Museums have stepped out of being places for j , living spaces ... it’s a place where people gather, share and learn.’’
She also sees the new facility as an opportunity for the community to join in, speaking positively about an inclusive community meeting place.
‘‘People feel a bit alienated sometimes from museums, it’s not their thing,’’ she says.
‘‘Everyone has a chance to be part of supporting this museum.’’