Bathurst Regional Art Gallery [BRAG] was acknowledged by the Museum and Galleries of NSW at the recent IMAGinE awards ceremony for their efforts to improve the methodology behind art storage.
BRAG's RE-ORG project saw a systematic, step-by-step improvement in the management and preservation of the gallery's art collections.
The project saw BRAG staff work together with post-graduate students from the University of Melbourne's Grimwade Centre for Cultural Material.
BRAG director Sarah Gurich said the project was a constructive team effort from all involved.
"This was the first documented RE-ORG project in Australia, and it has made a real difference in term of accessing our storage room," Ms Gurich said.
"It was a fantastic opportunity for University of Melbourne students to work with a valuable art collection and make a positive contribution to progress."
"In addition, the project allowed us to cut down item search times from an hour to under eight minutes, which has made a world of difference for accessibility."
For the project, policy and administrative recommendations were made and advice was given on housing, management, protection and long-term preservation of the collection.
The team ensured all 2000 collection items were labelled, photographed, wrapped and raised off the floor.
Ms Gurich said the project was timely considering an announcement from Bathurst Regional Council and the state government earlier this year that a new $4.6 million collections facility will be constructed for art and museum items.
"By the end of 2021, all of council's collections will be housed at the new storage facility, which will help free up space here at the gallery," she said.
"Once the artworks are moved to the new facility, we're hoping to turn our existing storage room into a new gallery space for the community to view their collections."
The IMAGinE awards offer a unique opportunity for museums and galleries to promote their achievements and raise their profile within the community.
The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum also received a highly commended at the awards for their housing of the Albert Chapman Mineral Collection.