With so much energy, commitment and vision to burn, Albury City Council’s latest cultural contribution opened to wide community-applause.
On a beautifully warm Spring morning, the event kicked off with a heartfelt Welcome to Country by Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Nancy Rooke, followed by an introduction to the Wiradjuri Ngurambanggu exhibition developed by MAMA for the launch.
Federal Health Minister and Member for Farrer, The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, officially opened the building, announcing an additional $300,000 in federal funding for collection management initiatives. She spoke of her immense pride in being associated with such a visionary project, something that rang true for the assembled crowd.
… many were impressed by the architecture, the scale of the building, and the quality of works on display, reinforcing that MAMA's brief was to be brazen and controversial right from the start.
The official launch was followed by a giant celebration with hundreds queuing to enjoy the new gallery and marvel at the sustainable and multipurpose building that now houses Albury’s significant art collection, special exhibitions, workshop spaces, café and amenities. The day’s buzz culminated in what was billed as MAMA’s Big Night Out–a loud, fun and artsy program of entertainment that filled the QEII Square and Dean St precinct long into the night with performances, projections, food and music.
Jacqui Hemsley, Director of the Gallery, reported that over the weekend thousands of people streamed through the $10 million Dean Street gallery, and noted that many were impressed by the architecture, the scale of the building, and the quality of works on display, reinforcing that MAMA’s brief was to be brazen and controversial right from the start.
Albury is to be congratulated for the enthusiasm and excitement shown. Jacqui promises a program that will inspire, be unexpected and unforgettable, and that will challenge all who get involved–now and in what will surely be a bright and busy future.
From all of us at M&G NSW we wish MAMA a long and prosperous life. May she age well and (dis)gracefully.
Michael Rolfe, CEO M&G NSW