Sad and shocking news that the Castlemaine Art Museum is to close while the museum undertakes ‘a full review of operations and develop a blueprint for the future‘. The plan is to reopen in two years, in time for the 2019 Castlemaine Festival, but there seems to be some doubt as to whether this will happen. In the meantime six staff are out-of-work and the residents of Castlemaine (and beyond) have lost an important venue of cultural activity. The gallery is a member of Victoria’s Regional Art Gallery network, but it is not a government organisation and nor is it operated by the local council (though it does receive both local and state government funding). There are suggestions that without some level of government intervention and funding the museum may not have a future. Let’s hope a solution can be found, and soon.
The gallery has been working hard to transform itself over the past three to four years, with upgrades including improved climate control which allowed the gallery to stage significant temporary exhibitions of work by Ben Quilty and Bill Henson. The gallery membership apparently numbers around 650