IN case you were unaware, Ballarat is home to Australia's oldest and largest regional art gallery. But there is much more to this space than art. Here are five things for you to explore at this prized local treasure.
1. The Permanent Collection
A heritage-listed gallery building, the Art Gallery is one of the oldest purpose-built galleries in the country. Since its inception in 1884, it has evolved to accommodate an expanding collection of art and a range of grand, elegant, contemporary spaces.
Walk through the collection and marvel at the history of Australian art including the stunning indigenous pieces as well as representative works from the colonial era right through to today.
2. Temporary Exhibitions
The Gallery hosts an array of temporary and/or travelling exhibitions throughout the year, with artists of local and national acclaim taking to the walls.
Having recently hosted the prestigious Archibald Prize two years in a row, the gallery will this year host its specially-curated Romancing the Skull exhibition, set to run for four months from October. The extravagant show will be centred on the theme of death and delve into the beauty of the afterlife.
3. Music and Concerts
Regularly offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy musical performances from a diversity of musicians, the Gallery has become well-established as one of the best local venues for chamber music and intimate performances in Ballarat.
In 2017, the venue will be offering a varied series of concerts from some of the country’s finest musicians ranging across a variety of genres.
4. Food and Drink
Get set to enhance your visit with some quality fuel from the adjoining Kittelty's at The Gallery. The cafe prides itself on sourcing local produce and ingredients, boasting a delicious selection of homemade goodies. And let's not forget about the coffee!
Kittelty's also features a showcase of some of the best locally-sourced pantry products - think homemade jams, oats, cordials, coffee and delectable chocolates.
5. Artist Talks and Classes
So you've got your arts fix, your dose of music and your coffee hit sorted. But there's still more to discover! The Gallery also hosts regular artist talks relating to its exhibitions as well as after-school education programs and life drawing classes for aspiring artists of all ages. So as well as admiring art you can brush up on your art skills - literally!
Before you depart, make sure to check out the Gallery shop. Stocked with a plethora of gifts, many of the items are sourced from local artists, providing a great showcase of the talent inherent in Ballarat.