Art Aid auction ‘at capacity’

GIPPSLAND Art Gallery director Simon Gregg has thanked the many hundreds of artists and donors who have contacted him to support its bushfire relief art auction, but said the gallery was now “at capacity”.

Mr Gregg said the gallery was not able to accept any more donations, as staff had been “completely overwhelmed” with more emails and phone messages than they can respond to, and far more artworks than the gallery can possibly accommodate.

“If you have already made contact with us and have dropped off an artwork at one of the drop off locations, a big thank you and please be assured those donations will be accepted,” he said.

“If you are new to Art Aid or yet to make contact with us, we would encourage you to look into the many other worthy bushfire fundraisers happening across the state.”

For those who have already been contacted by the gallery and are waiting to drop off their work, information can be found on the gallery’s website.

Mr Gregg said the gallery had received pledges of about 1000 artworks from 600 to 700 donors, “but still counting”.

He said he had been unable to keep up with the number of emails and phone messages, and had now “abandoned all hope of returning all correspondence”.

He said anyone needing to get in touch should send a short “and succinct” email and allow him time to respond.

Urgent enquiries can be put through to gallery reception at galleryenquiries@wellington.vic.gov.au, or by phoning 5142 3078.

The Art Aid preview exhibition will be officially launched on Friday, February 15, from 6pm by Wellington Shire Mayor Alan Hall. It coincides with the survey exhibition by Peter Cole, ‘The Circus of Life’, to be officially opened by curator and writer Robert Lindsay, and additional exhibitions from Susan Purdy and Simon Deere. Space will be strictly limited, and Mr Gregg said he would urge everyone considering attending the auction to consider the restrictions.

“I wouldn’t want, for instance, anyone travelling down from Melbourne to find they can’t hear speeches because of the huge crowd, to find the bar has closed, and then they only get a few minutes to view the exhibition,” he said.