Message from the Director

We are delighted to welcome the new decade with reinvigorated gallery spaces and a program of exhibitions designed to encourage more interaction, new experiences and conversations about the art, culture and communities of our South West Victorian region.

We have spent the second half of 2019 bringing the Gallery facilities forward to new standards of museum excellence, refreshing our exhibition spaces, creating and installing museum quality storage for the more than 5000 items in our precious collection – now entering its second century.

The new-look WAG offers an enlivened Family Learning Gallery, with a purpose-built space dedicated to our rapidly increasing audience of children, young people and families. Following the reopening on February 7, it will be re-imagined by Simon Linardi (Atelier Cartel) through the fantasy story-telling of the Bull Cow, a glittering world with a hybrid whale-cow designed to encourage bold and creative thinking through a rich interactive experience.

Our programs will continue our vision to ensure Warrn-ambool’s liveability and provide vocational opportunities for young people in arts and culture through internships, scholarships and work-integrated learning programs.

The first half of 2020 will also focus on the Gallery’s permanent collection. Visitors will be able to discover and explore more pieces on show than ever before and we will celebrate the return of Von Guérard’s magnificent Tower Hill (1855) painting to the Gallery.

Our first big show UNREST will feature Ron Mueck’s hyper-realist Wild Man, a 2.5 metre high sculpture of a man sitting uneasily on the edge of his chair, as part of a reflection on forms of tension in our changing contemporary society.

WAG is especially thrilled to announce the appointment of Keerray Woorroong early-years educator and artist Sherry Johnstone to the team. Sherry will lead the development of programs and exhibitions that preserve and promote understanding of the First People’s culture of South West Victoria as part of WAG’s Maar Nation and Aboriginal-led Gallery and Legacy Initiative. Her position has been made possible through the Helen Mcpherson Smith Trust and the Creative Victoria Engaging Audience Regional Partnerships program.

There are many people to thank for the renewed WAG. Our collection storage area has been made possible through the generous support of: Archie & Hilda Graham Foundation; A.L. Lane Foundation; The Gwen & Edna Jones Foundation; Ern Hartley Foundation; The Ray & Joyce Uebergang Foundation. Rural Access also supported us with grant to improve access to the building.

I would like to thank the Gallery staff for their dedication and hard work during the closedown, and to farewell curator Ren Gregoric who will pursue PhD study in Canberra.

WAG will continue to evolve its long-term future next year through a business case study funded by the Warrnambool City Council and the Cumorah Foundation. We welcome you all to be a part of that future, and encourage you to come and experience the Gallery in a year promising bright and invigorating things.

Vanessa Gerrans, Director

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The WAG is Closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, The Warrnambool Art Gallery (The WAG) will be closed to the public from Monday March 23

An update of Council sites and services can be found at www.warrnambool.vic.gov.au/coronavirus