Bega Valley Shire Council has announced its regional gallery will be renamed the South East Centre for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in the lead-up to its re-opening early next year.
The renaming of the gallery coincides with the major redevelopment of the 30-year-old site, increasing exhibition space, storage and workshop capacity to become a fit for purpose art centre.
As the only such facility in South Eastern NSW, SECCA will host important touring exhibitions and deliver a world class artistic program designed to stimulate local audiences and develop a centrepiece for a strong cultural tourism economy, Council said in a statement.
Gallery Director, Iain Dawson said SECCA reflects the true geographical reach of the facility and better defines the focus of the gallery’s offering.
“The transition to SECCA helps position the gallery as a beacon for culture in this vast and beautiful region, acknowledging the cultural heritage from First Nations ancestors, colonial settlers and contemporary society,” Mr Dawson said.
“As a destination, SECCA will be an open platform where art can flourish and an ever-widening audience can participate, connect, be inspired and experience the best local and global contemporary visual art.”
Future exhibitions and events will build on the strong reputation the gallery has forged over its 30 year history and focus on bringing important visual arts and culture to the wider remote region, he said.
“Our artistic program for the new-look gallery will deliver an artistic exchange of ideas, acknowledging divergent political, social and moral belief systems of artists and audiences from Australia and the Asia Pacific.”
“The redeveloped gallery will create connections, not just exhibitions.
“We will connect our local community and visitors to the shire to global conversations in contemporary art.
“SECCA will be a leader in the Australian arts sector, supported by a visionary local government organisation.
“It will generate significant economic benefits through increased tourist visitation and the additional expenditure that flows from that to accommodation, cafes and restaurants, and other tourist attractions.
“There will also be important benefits for the community which will have improved access to cultural activities.
“The flow on effects for mental health and wellbeing, community connection and improved educational outcomes can’t be underestimated,” Mr Dawson said.