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Acquisition policy is state of the art

Thursday 9 May 2019

The shire’s art collection has been redrawn so it will capture and reflect the cultural sensibilities of Eurobodalla.

Eurobodalla Council’s early art collection – primarily Frank Mitchell landscapes – began with the opening of the Moruya administration building in 1980, with occasional ad-hoc additions since.

Last month, Councillors voted to endorse the shire’s Arts Acquisition Policy. Council’s arts coordinator Indi Carmichael said the policy and associated Code of Practice was long overdue.

“Council inherited a few paintings when the administration building was built. For a long time they were the sum total our permanent collection,” she said.

“That was a real shame – our shire is bristling with incredible artists who live and work here.”

Ms Carmichael said the policy guides how the collection is managed as an economic asset.

“Much as we would like to, we can’t acquire everything. For one thing – with an annual budget of $8,000 – we don’t have the money,” she said.

“So we have to consider potential acquisitions very carefully. This policy provides the framework to ensure the art we acquire is of genuine quality with good longevity, is value for money, and represents our broad cultural sensibilities.”

Under the policy, the acquisition of work valued at $2,000 or more must be submitted to the Public Art Advisory Committee, who assess it for excellence, originality, diversity, representation, longevity and provenance.

Ms Carmichael said the policy also allowed for works to be decommissioned, “removing a piece when it no longer reflects who we are as a society or it has deteriorated beyond repair, for example”.

“It is well proven art is really good for us, we are fundamentally creative beings and I am excited that this will be reflected in our shire buildings,” she said.

“The arts have so much to offer and this policy helps ensure the people of Eurobodalla experience those benefits.”

Visit Council's arts page for more information, or contact Council’s arts coordinator Indi Carmichael on 4474 1061 or email indira.carmichael@esc.nsw.gov.au