It's an exciting start to the year for Manning Regional Art Gallery.
"We have a great program for the year, a new entrance, new opening hours, we're busy, we're growing. It's an exciting time," said director Rachel Piercy.
The construction of the new disability ramp, financed by the Regional Cultural Fund grant through the NSW government, in addition to a new entrance design now means all visitors will access the gallery through the same gateway.
"Everybody arrives by the same entrance, which is so important," said Rachel.
The gallery will also be getting a new print studio in the next six weeks.
"It will be a 5m x 4m print studio. You can hire the space or an artist in residence can set up," she said.
This is on top of new opening hours that have been introduced, which includes an extra day and longer hours.
The gallery is now open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday and 1pm to 4pm on Sunday.
"New opening hours is something I've been wanting to do for a long while," said Rachel.
"Tuesday I was here and letting people in anyway and now we have volunteers here to be on the front desk.
"We are opening until 5pm, which can capture people leaving work, or picking kids up after school. It's in line with the libraries."
Rachel said the gallery's volunteer base is growing, with six new volunteers coming onto the roster.
"We have a really supportive group of volunteers, Friends of the Gallery. Without them we wouldn't exist."
Rachel said there is also a new sense of ownership within the Forster and Gloucester areas, along with the Manning, and a community feeling that the gallery belongs to the whole region.
"In 2020-2021, we will continue to support the region in creative ways, however that manifests," said Rachel.
Currently showing at the gallery is un:Seen, an innovative exhibition by untethered fibre artists - a talented and highly skilled group working predominantly with fibre; and TAO by James Pearson and Geoffry Lai, where James Pearson works with Geoffry Lai to explore his esoteric heritage through I-Ching, the ancient art of Chinese divination and how it informs us in the modern world.
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