Postponed from last November because of bushfires, 47 registered delegates from the State’s regional gallery network gathered in Katoomba last week for the Regional Public Galleries NSW biennial conference—Our Galleries Our Spaces.
Held at the impressive and relatively new, Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, delegates were joined by 14 speakers for presentations across a range of topics related to funding, sustainability, branding, fundraising, retail management, distinctive programming and ‘place making’.
He had everyone entertained with a humorous yet insightful overview of museum shop success, stock selection tips and, sales and marketing techniques.
Andrew Frost, art critic, writer, lecturer and broadcaster gave the keynote address. Speaking eloquently about regional galleries, their programs and collections, he reinforced their relevance to the cultural landscape. Reminiscing on exhibitions and projects, both modest and large, he convincingly highlighted the impact, cogency and validity of regional galleries within their communities.
‘Impact’ was the key word in Dr Jody Evans’ presentation, which focused on the economic and social benefits of regional gallery programming. Titled The Impact Narrative, A critical component of the regional gallery brand, Jody argued that while the economic and social impact of arts programming has grown, its measurement has been obscured by a reliance on quantitative KPI’s. Her presentation focused on the role economic and social outcomes have played in the development of two outstanding public gallery brands—Bendigo Art Gallery and Shepparton Art Museum, and the tools used to gather a qualitative understanding of their success.
Stephen Quinn, President of the Museum Shops Association of Australia, spoke about the management of merchandising within a museum. He had everyone entertained with a humorous yet insightful overview of museum shop success, stock selection tips and, sales and marketing techniques.