September 11th, 2023Art Gallery of Ballarat visitation on the rise
There has been a significant rise in visitor numbers to the Art Gallery of Ballarat, showing a positive trend in audiences returning post COVID.
Newly released figures show that during the 2022/23 financial year, the Art Gallery of Ballarat had 113,734 visitors, averaging 9,479 visitors per month.
The annual visitation represented a 33 percent increase on the previous year and indicates the gallery is well on the way to getting back to pre-COVID visitation levels, when almost 190,000 visitors were recorded in 2018/19.
The Art Gallery of Ballarat Shop also achieved a significant increase in revenue in 2022/23, recording a 32 per cent increase in revenue on the previous financial year.
City of Ballarat Councillor, Cr Mark Harris praised Gallery Director Louise Tegart and the entire team of staff for their hard work and outstanding results.
“The Art Gallery of Ballarat is such an incredible asset for the entire city and to see it performing so well is a justification of all the crucial background work over many years,” he said.
“The programming that we saw in 2022/23, most notably our collection exhibition Beating about the Bush showcasing Australian impressionist paintings and contemporary photography and the paired exhibitions Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings & Watercolours and In the Company of Morris, were both an outstanding success.
“It’s an exciting time for the gallery and the future is looking very bright with a new strategic plan also underway.
“I’ve been told that what is motivating the gallery team now is how much more can be done with this work already completed. There are exciting plans for the years to come.”
Highlights from the 2022/23 financial year included:
- Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings & Watercolours and In the Company of Morris: The Pre-Raphaelites was a touring exhibition from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. It was presented in Australia exclusively by the Art Gallery of Ballarat. In the Company of Morris showcased an exhibition of historical and contemporary Australian artworks demonstrating the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites and in particular William Morris. Both exhibitions were run concurrently.
- Partnership with multiple City of Ballarat events: including the Skywhales launch at the Eastern Oval for the 2022 Ballarat Winter Festival; an Art Gallery of Ballarat outreach activity in the Botanical Gardens for the Ballarat Begonia Festival; hosting the launch of the Be Hear Now music festival and presenting a series of events for the Ballarat Heritage Festival. The Art Gallery of Ballarat also partnered with the City of Ballarat Early Years team to present an outdoor Family Day and Ballarat’s Biggest Playgroup 2023.
- A $50,000 grant through the Department of Transport’s Flexible Local Transport Program: The grant program helped address issues preventing those in regional and remote areas from attending the Art Gallery of Ballarat. The funding enables the gallery to host students from schools that don’t usually have the resources to travel for a gallery visit. During 2022/23, the scheme brought in 527 participants from 21 schools from Western Victoria, who travelled a total of 2,648km with an average cost of $1,151.09 per trip and program continues into the current financial year.
The Art Gallery of Ballarat is currently a key venue for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2023, presenting the high-profile international exhibitions People Power – Platon and Instant Warhol exhibitions as well as five other exhibitions, including of works by local Ballarat artists.