Celebrations as Ararat Arts Precinct Redevelopment is completed

Posted Thursday 2 August, 08:52am

After more than a year and a half of closure, performances and exhibitions will spring to life at the Ararat Town Hall and Ararat Gallery TAMA this weekend.

Caption: Ararat Rural City Council Mayor, Cr Gwenda Allgood inspects the Ararat Art Gallery foyer last month. The construction site has now made way for exhibitions, which will open this weekend.

Community celebrations have been planned for across the weekend of August 3-5 to mark the completion of the multi-million dollar Ararat Arts Precinct Redevelopment.

Ararat Rural City Council Mayor, Cr Gwenda Allgood said the venue have been abuzz with excitement over the past fortnight as tradesmen, cleaners and Council Staff put the finishing touches in place.

“This is a significant milestone in the history of our town,” Cr Allgood said.

“We are very lucky to now have this beautiful modern, contemporary arts venue which is the result of a shared vision between the community and all levels of Government.

“It has certainly been worth the wait.”

Cr Allgood said it has been all hands on deck in recent weeks as both Town Hall and Gallery staff moved back on site and familiarised themselves with the new spaces and technology.

“Outside Council’s Parks and Gardens team have done a magnificent job in landscaping the precinct,” she said.

“They have planted trees and scrubs, laid grass and mulch in the garden beds. It has just completed the look from the outside, which is fantastic.”

Cr Allgood said acknowledging the history of the building will form part of the celebration weekend.

The original site of the building was laid out in 1858 called Ararat Market Square, the Town Hall was built 40 years later just before the turn of the century.

“We've been lucky enough to find the original trowel from the laying of the foundation stone for the then-new Town Hall 120 years ago,” Cr Allgood said.

“The great, great grandson of the Mayor at the time Cr Edward James Simpson organised with his family to kindly send the beautiful trowel down from New South Wales to be here for the weekend.”

An exhibition in the Town Hall foyer will also feature old performing arts programs pre-dating the existing building, as well as photographs and architecture plans from the 1800s.

“The beautiful Steinway Grand Piano is also one of the many fine examples of the Town Hall history being acknowledged,” Cr Allgood said.

“The piano has called the Town Hall home since being purchased by the Ararat Music Circle in May 1952 for the sum of 940 pounds.

“As part of this project, it was sent away to experts to be restored to its magnificent glory and was returned just a week ago.”

Archie-Loom: Slow Art Collective and Material Constructs: The Home Stretch - Sarah crowEST will open in the Ararat Gallery TAMA on Friday, followed by Kylie On Stage on Saturday.

At the Ararat Town Hall Fast Track Heats will be held on Friday, followed by Isaiah Live In Concert and Urzila Carlson: Studies Have Shown on Saturday and the weekend will conclude with a Community Open Day on Sunday.

An official opening will be live streamed via Council's Facebook page and can be viewed from 6.15pm here: www.facebook.com/AraratRuralCityCouncil

For further information click here or call 5355 0200.