Goldie Watters, of Baryulgil, Sandra and Phil Price and Therese Murray Prior, of Coffs Harbour.
Goldie Watters, of Baryulgil, Sandra and Phil Price and Therese Murray Prior, of Coffs Harbour. Simon Allard

Good foundations for gallery

THE importance of arts in the community was the theme of the 5th Annual Foundation Dinner at the Grafton Regional Gallery on Friday night.

Around 80 people showed their support to the Clarence Valley’s arts community by attending the gala event, where guest speaker Julie Ewington, curator of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Gallery, talked about the importance of having a Foundation within a gallery structure.

She said about half of their gallery’s collection had been acquired through monies secured by its Foundation which had now been in operation for 31 years.

Ms Ewington also talked about government funding, or lack thereof, considering there are ‘more people attending arts functions and activities then sporting events in this country’.

She also shared some of the Queensland Gallery’s collection with relevance to the Clarence Valley including the jacaranda tree and photographer JW Lindt’s photography. Ms Ewington said she wished she could move the border south to include the Grafton Regional Gallery in the State.

Foundation member James Moloney said although numbers were slightly down this year, the art auction, sale of limited edition O’Grady prints and private donations helped the committee raise almost $18,000 for the foundation corpus which, after the dinner’s total, will now stand at about $150,000. The interest the corpus generates will be used to purchase or commission new works for the gallery collection.

“The quality of artworks auctioned tonight was really superb. It was a great opportunity to pick up an item for a good deal less than market value and contribute to a good cause,” James said.

He also said the O’Grady limited editions prints had been a big seller with 14 of the 20 already purchased before the dinner started.

“It was also the first year we gave people an option to make a donation, particularly if they were unable to attend. We raised $1500 from that alone.”

The Foundation’s next event is the Gate to Plate in September.



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