The mayor of Glen Innes has warned that there is a real danger of the town’s main gallery having to close if volunteers do not come forward to run it.
Steve Toms urged people to go to the Annual General Meeting next Monday on March 19. He said: "There's a desperate need for people to step up to executive positions".
An AGM scheduled for last month came to naught because so few people turned up that it wasn’t quorate and so unable to make decisions.
If that happens again, the legal status of the gallery as an “incorporated body” could be jeopardised which would mean that it would have to cease.
The gallery is part of the library complex which is run by the council. It’s a separate room in which many exhibitions of high quality have been held.
But its difficulty is that it is run by volunteers despite the amount of work adding up to virtually full time jobs. The two main volunteers are stepping down.
Mr Toms said that since it opened in 2005, “the gallery has been very much a part of the complex and provided a showcase for lots or artists from our area.”
It relies on volunteers stepping in to do the basic work of arranging exhibitions, but it has also relied on Treasurer, Patricia Turner, and President, Robyn Condon, as the driving forces at the top.
Both are moving on because of other unavoidable commitments and “we’re all getting older”. Patricia Turner said her own eye-sight was not as strong as it was.
“People have a soft spot for the gallery”, she said, “but they don’t want to do the work”.
“People are so committed to other things.”
She wondered if there was a looming problem in Glen Innes in that the number of people prepared to volunteer was getting smaller as the existing group grew older.
Many institutions rely on volunteers in Glen Innes. It’s a mark of civic pride and involvement for the History House, for example, as well as the Gallery.
Robyn Condon said: “New members are essential if the Glen Innes Art Gallery is to continue to fulfill its mission to increase cultural awareness and activity in the community and attract visitors, tourists and permanent residents.”
She thought new people might have to rethink how the gallery fits into the artistic community ion Glen Innes and works closely with other galleries in the town.
“New members with fresh ideas and enthusiasm are essential if the Glen Innes Art Gallery is to continue to fulfil its mission and objectives in the new cultural landscape”, she said.
She said anyone interested could call her on 0429848765.