Getting a new gallery off the table with a looming recession

Avoiding the 'ghost gallery' trap when fundraising in a recession is tough. ArtsHub speaks with Megan Monte about getting the vision and support foundations right, for the soon-to-be built Southern Highlands Regional Gallery.

Remember Doctor Dolittle’s prized pushmi-pullyu, a kind of double-headed llama with two minds working in tandem? It could be a personification of the co-ordinated effort required to get a new gallery off the ground, juggling different interests and stakeholders and the pull of funding challenges.

COVID, if nothing else, has taught us to think in the abstract, and to push beyond the things that hold us back. I find myself drawing on this odd analogy with the imminent ‘turning of the sod’ for the construction of a new regional gallery in the Southern Highlands, located halfway between Sydney and Canberra in Bowral.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina