News

Grant for art space

By Didier Stobart

A new interactive space in the Benalla Art Gallery will allow visitors to learn about the people and stories behind the art, thanks to a Victorian Government grant of $19750.

State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced the grant through the Engaging Audiences program, which will support the creation of the Collection Lab.

This is a space where audiences can watch videos, read articles and listen to talks to understand the inspirations and process of some of our most exciting and much-loved artists.

Benalla Art Gallery director Bryony Nainby said the space would provide visitors with the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience.

‘‘Visitors to the space will be encouraged to create their own oral, written or artistic responses to the featured artworks, so the gallery can gather a broad cross section of views and generate discussions about what art means to people across the community,’’ Ms Nainby said.

The Benalla Art Gallery holds more than 1200 items and the Collection Lab will focus attention on one artist each week spanning painting, photography, printmaking, drawing and sculpture.

The space will also host a residency program, which will see artists, writers, researchers and restorers working on site and holding talks, workshops and education programs where visitors of all ages can learn more and create their own artwork inspired by the artist of the week.

This latest Engaging Audiences grant for Benalla Art Gallery builds on the state’s ongoing investment in the gallery of $105000 a year, supporting its annual operations and programming.

‘‘Benalla Art Gallery plays a key role in the cultural life of this region and we are proud to support this project, which will open up access to art like never before,’’ Ms Symes said.

‘‘With the recent success of the Wall to Wall Festival, there is now a greater emphasis on art tourism for Benalla and the gallery is in prime position to take advantage of that.’’

The Collection Lab will become an ever-expanding database for people all over the world to learn from.

●To see more on the Collection Lab, visit www.benallacollectionlab.com