‘Sigh of relief’: Warwick Art Gallery welcomes travellers
AFTER three months of forced closure, opening the Warwick Art Gallery's doors last Thursday, director Karina Devine could finally breathe "a sigh of relief".
"We did have a bit of trepidation because we didn't know how many people were out and about and would come in," she said.
"It's gradually peaked up since the first day, with all different sorts of people - some travellers, some locals and some artists exhibiting. It wasn't all familiar faces which was nice."
While doors may have been closed, the work never stopped for gallery staff.
Faced with travel concerns and a year worth's of planning out the window, Ms Devine rushed to reorganise the gallery's calendar.
"We plan the program so far in advance that there was a lot of things to work around that but I'm really please we didn't have to cancel any shows at all," she said.
"It does mean our program is fully booked until the end of next year in both galleries, with only one vacancy at the end of 2021.
"The trucks for our Craftivism exhibition actually arrived today and that's a touring show out of Victoria I've been looking forward to for three years."
Already, Ms Devine had already been approached by one artist who had used lockdown to kickstart their creative career.
"It has been a creative time for people and I hope that continues a new pathway for many," she said.
"Wouldn't it be great in a year's time to have a whole bunch of exhibit applications from people who started during COVID-19?"
Yet there would be one hole in the gallery's calendar this year that couldn't be overlooked.
Despite the disappointment at this year's Jumpers and Jazz festival being cancelled, Ms Devine said it only meant the gallery was gearing up for a bigger and better one next year - with plans already in action.
"It is a really strange situation to have no festival, it makes everything feel slightly odd and as if we're in a whole different world," she said.
"We're just looking forward to 2021 and making that our focus. We live and breathe Jumpers and Jazz here 12 months of the year, so there's few times when it's not a part of our process."
Due to the size of the gallery, a staggered reopening had been planned with all galleries and the studio opened by August 4.
For more information, head to http://www.warwickartgallery.com.au/
Upcoming exhibitions are as follow:
Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms: July 2 - August 29
Reflections by Thomas Benkendorff: June 18 - August 22
Interconnection by the Warwick Artists Group: September 3 - October 24
In Sight 3 by Warwick High School: August 27 - October 3
The Cherry on Top by Jayde Clacy: October 8 - November 14
On My Way by Nikki Wood: October 29 - December 5
Southern Downs miniatures: November 19 - December 24