Benalla Art Gallery explores the social impact on the art sector in its latest conference

Upcoming appearance: Bree Pickering, director of the Murray Art Museum, will speak at the Benalla Art Gallery on Saturday February 19. Photo by Contributed

Benalla Art Gallery continues its popular lecture series, “The Power of Cultural Infrastructure,” on Saturday, February 19.

The lecture series, which began in December, is presented in partnership with RACV and MPavilion, and explores the real social, cultural and economic outcomes that come from investing in leading cultural organizations.

After powerful presentations by Katrina Sedgwick OAM and Nicole Durling, February’s talk will be presented by Bree Pickering, who has directed the Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) since 2016.

Ms. Pickering’s presentation will focus on social impact and how a regional institution is able to deliver on promises of community identity, pride, social cohesion and even health and well-being.

Barely a year into the life of MAMA, Ms. Pickering will explore its successes, obstacles along the way, and insights from its early years of operation.

Now in its sixth year, MAMA has become well known for its innovative exhibition program, diverse and engaging public programs, and vibrant education center.

Whether it’s successfully engaging artists, building a local audience or running a sustainable business, Ms Pickering will share examples of museum winners and losers as he experimented his way from an art gallery region to a world-class cultural experience.

Benalla Art Gallery Director Eric Nash said the conference provided an opportunity to learn about the wide range of benefits that come with running a top cultural institution.

“Discussions to date have specifically explored the economic return of cultural tourism, the importance of community engagement and the activation of public spaces,” Mr. Nash said.

“Bree’s speech will truly underscore how high profile galleries can be so much more than an art destination, (and) how they can be incredibly enriching and healing for a community.”

The conference comes at an important time for the Benalla Art Gallery.

With funding from the state government, the Benalla Rural City Council launched a public tender this week for architectural services to produce a master plan for the redevelopment of the gallery, while Federal MP Indi’s Helen Haines discussed the gallery’s redevelopment as a key $7 million project within a $37 million budget. budget request for projects through Benalla.

William E. Bennett