Crowd gathers for first opening

The first exhibition opening at the Collie Art Gallery was enjoyed by more than 60 members of the Friends of the Gallery and invited guests last Friday evening.

Shire of Collie Councillor Ian Miffling presided over the evening’s proceedings, which included a presentation of Life Membership to Jan Wallace, who was a major instigator in the gallery’s inception.

“Jan Wallace had a vision for Collie that nobody else could see,” said Mr Miffling. “She could see the positive impact this gallery would have on the community.”

“Council also recognised that this gallery would play an important role in both the social and cultural fabric of Collie,” said Mr Miffling.

Mrs Wallace said she was thrilled to receive the Life Membership, and even more thrilled by the opening of the gallery. “I am just so glad to be finally standing here in this gallery after so many years,” said Mrs Wallace.

The Pinjarra Massacre Memorial was officially opened by Gallery Group Chairperson Elizabeth Lindsay, who said it was a fitting tribute to the first Australians that the first exhibition at the gallery recognised an event that had an extensive and enduring impact on the community.

Mrs Lindsay thanked committee members, volunteers, Shire of Collie staff and subject matter experts for their generous contributions in the years and months in preparation for the opening of the gallery.

The Shire of Collie, White Building Co., Coalcliffe Plant Hire and other sub-contractors pulled out all stops to ensure the gallery was as ready as possible for the opening night. External landscaping and paving works will continue to be completed in the coming weeks.

The gallery is now open to the public on Thursdays to Mondays, 11am to 5pm. The gallery’s official opening will be held Friday, 17 July 2015.