$250,000 to upgrade gallery

THE walls and ceiling at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) are to be improved after councillors voted to allocate $250,000 in the 2017/18 Operating Plan from loans.

Despite making upgrades to the air conditioning and climate control systems and replacing the lighting system earlier this year, more work needs to be carried out to enable the art gallery to exhibit major works borrowed from larger state and national museums.

The gallery currently has an issue with condensation, posing a serious threat to works on display in certain sections of the building.

Walls that are not insulated and are directory exposed to the outside are most at risk to condensation.

The issue is so serious that the whole of the recent Nicole Welch exhibition and two works from another exhibition had to be removed for 10 days to protect them from water damage.

By lining and insulating particular walls and the ceiling, the gallery will meet best industry practice and be able to borrow major works for the community.

If the work is not complete BRAG will continue to be refused exhibitions, as has been the case at the the gallery since 2004..

The measures will also improve the energy efficiency of the building.

In addition to allocating the funds, council will seek grants to assist with the project.

It will also utilise the utility consumption gained, through the upgraded air conditioning equipment, lighting and improved thermal properties of the external walls, to service the loan costs.

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