Save the Art Gallery Redevelopment Proposal
  • Petitioning Newcastle City Council

This petition will be delivered to:

Newcastle City Council
NSW Member for Newcastle
Tim Owen
Member for Newcastle
Ms Sharon Claydon MP

Save the Art Gallery Redevelopment Proposal

    1. Gionni Di Gravio
    2. Petition by

      Gionni Di Gravio

      Mayfield, Australia

All great cities need great cultural institutions.

Newcastle is a great Australian city, and deserves a great art gallery.

“A picture tells a thousand words”. The arts are a mirror of and for the people and their communities. They show us what we have accomplished, where we are, and challenge us to change the future.

The Newcastle Art Gallery is not just for elites, it is a place for all people in the community, a repository of past, present and future possibilities, a place where visitors can understand who we are as a people.

For 7000 years, Newcastle (Mulubinba) has been host to three waves of human habitation and has continued into its fourth as Australia’s second oldest and sixth largest city.

It is Australia’s economic birthplace of the first discoveries, export and profit, from coal as well as Australia’s “Cultural Capital” during the Macquarie era from 1810 to 1821 that led to the creation of the artistic wonders of international significance as the Macquarie Chest, Wallis Album, Skottowe manuscript, and many notable engravings and paintings.

Newcastle continues to host the highest concentration of artists per capita of any other city in Australia.

The Newcastle Art Gallery was Australia’s first purpose built regional gallery, opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Friday 11 March 1977.

The city has produced its share of artists. William Dobell, John Olsen, William Rose, Tom Gleghorn, Ross Morrow, John Molvig all born and bred in the city, while artists including John Passmore, Royston Harpur, Stanislaus Rapotec, Matthew Perceval, Shay Docking and Margaret Olley have been drawn to the city, to its architecture and industrial vistas.

In 2015 the Asia Cup tournament will attract around 500,000 spectators, 45,000 international visitors, with an anticipated 2.5 billion watching abroad. This is the time to harness this potential and showcase Newcastle and its people.

There is no better place to do this than at a beautiful Art Gallery.

Please support the redevelopment proposal for the Newcastle Art Gallery.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Elizabeth Farrelly - Essential Reading!

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      Greedy politicians full of hot air, not heroics

      Illustration: Dionne Gain It's the contrast that keeps striking me. On one hand there's the airship hero Michael Nerandzic, who carefully jettisoned his three passengers, knowing that saving their lives would cost his. On the other, there's this endless ICAC parade of the greedy and inane, hell-bent on traducing our trust and our shared habitat for the sake of, what - another overseas trip?

    2. The Australian - Newcastle Art Gallery Beset By Controversy

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      Cookies must be enabled. | The Australian

      Before the cookie settings change will take effect, Safari must restart. To restart Safari press and hold the Home button (for around five seconds) until the iPhone/iPad display goes blank and the home screen appears.

    3. Opinion: Gallery isn't a pretty picture for ratepayers by Jeff McCloy

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      OPINION: Gallery isn't a pretty picture for ratepayers

      IN yesterday's Newcastle Herald, what I regard as the farce that was the project co-ordination of the Newcastle Art Galley revitalisation was revealed for all to see. Leaving aside for a moment that the art gallery revitalisation was never fully funded, despite claims to the contrary, I believe the way this project was handled reveals issues with the understanding of corporate governance.

    4. $5 entry fee floated for Art Gallery and Museum

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      Newcastle News | Newcastle Herald

      FREE entry to Newcastle Art Gallery and Newcastle Museum will end under a new set of fees and charges proposed by Newcastle City Council. Gallery entry would cost $5 for an adult, $10 for a family and $2 for a child between 12 and 18.

    5. Nothing to show for $3M Art Gallery plans

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      Newcastle News | Newcastle Herald

      THE disastrous and aborted plans to expand Newcastle Art Gallery have cost ratepayers more than $3million without so much as a brick being laid. A financial audit of the project, released publicly last night for the first time, reveals that senior council staff approved major variations worth almost $700,000 to design contractors without any authority to do so.

    6. LETTER: Art attack now political folly by Jim Burns

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer

      The recent gallery fiasco began with a unilateral decision at the highest level of council to stop a well-designed and long overdue gallery extension, block a generous federal grant, avoid a tiny rate increase in case the state government failed to show that Newcastle’s art gallery was as worthy as Sydney’s, and offer an unacceptable slipshod alternative.

      It also allowed the $6million set aside by two previous councils to be diverted to other purposes.

      Members of the public who, like myself, have benefited so much from the creation of Newcastle’s gallery, must strongly defy all attempts to attack, fragment and, as many of us fear, allow them to pass into private hands, like so many others of the nation’s once renowned and revered public services.

      Read the full letter here:

      http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2227704/letter-art-attack-now-political-folly/?cs=315

    7. OPINION: Newcastle gallery furore is a missed chance to rise above

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      OPINION: Newcastle gallery furore is a missed chance to rise above the ordinary

      GARY Ellem, Jessica Sullivan and Jeff Julian asked the people of Newcastle, "So what kind of iconic projects can we build into the redevelopment to enhance the city as being connected and creative?" ("City's reinvention offers scope for radical ideas" Herald 12/4), and the answer seems to point to mediocrity.

    8. The unanimously passed resolutions from the March public meeting

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      The Newcastle Gerald and Energy Innovator's Advocate: THE NEWCASTLE ART GALLERY FIASCO - THE RESOLUTIONS FROM PUBLIC MEETING 24TH MARCH 2014

      At a public meeting, held on Monday 24th March 2014, at 7pm Hunter Room, City Hall the following resolutions were unanimously passed by the 300+ participants who packed the room: This meeting expresses appreciation of the contribution to the city and the Art Gallery by Judy Jaeger and Ron Ramsey and wishes them the very best for the future.

    9. The Whiteley Sculpture - What has all this been about? by Allan Morris

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      The Newcastle Gerald and Energy Innovator's Advocate: THE NEWCASTLE ART GALLERY FIASCO - "THE WHITELEY SCULPTURE" BY ALLAN MORRIS

      THE CULTURAL GIFTS PROGRAM It has been claimed that the Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation, the Art Gallery Director and his manager, Wendy Whiteley and her advisors and by inference the Brett Whiteley Foundation, made deliberate and considered arrangements to disguise the transfer of the sculpture Black totem II from Wendy Whiteley'sownership to Newcastle City Council, via the Cultural Gifts Program, purporting it to be an unconditional gift when it was not.Some understanding of the nature of the gift and the rules that apply in such circumstances might help to clarifythe situation.

    10. Backgrounder to the Newcastle Art Gallery Fiasco by Allan Morris

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      The Newcastle Gerald and Energy Innovator's Advocate: THE NEWCASTLE ART GALLERY FIASCO - "THE BACKGROUND" BY ALLAN MORRIS

      THE NEWCASTLE ART GALLERY FOUNDATION The Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1977. Its original members were prominent in the Newcastle business community or representatives of companies with important links to Newcastle.It is a corporation under Australian company law.

    11. GM says Newcastle's Reputation has been sullied.

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      Art gallery visitor numbers on the rise

      Posted April 09, 2014 10:14:22 Newcastle Council's general manager says the city's art gallery continues to go from strength to strength, with visitor numbers on the rise. Gallery director Ron Ramsey and his boss Judy Jaeger were sacked recently over the controversial acquisition of a Brett Whiteley sculpture.

    12. Petition to save Art Gallery

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      Newcastle News | Newcastle Herald

      MORE than 1300 people have signed a petition calling on Newcastle council to reverse its decision to merge senior managerial positions at the art gallery and museum, and resist plans to charge art gallery entry fees.

    13. NBN News: HORNERY MAKES INTENTIONS CLEAR FOLLOWING NEW APPOINTMENT

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      HORNERY MAKES INTENTIONS CLEAR FOLLOWING NEW APPOINTMENT

      Member for Wallsend Sonia Hornery has been officially appointed as the State Shadow Minister for the Arts, and told NBN last week about her intentions. She wants to look into Newcastle Council's handling of the sackings of Newcastle art gallery director Ron Ramsay and senior staff member Judy Jaeger, as well as the failed redevelopment of the gallery after the State Government pulled its funding.

    14. Newcastle's saga continues

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      Newcastle's saga continues

      Monday's public meeting at Newcastle held no surprises. Attended by a passionate crowd of nearly 300 people, the audience unanimously voted to uphold four resolutions. There was a heartfelt statement of support for the sacked staff, Judy Jaeger and Ron Ramsey, acknowledgement of the work undertaken by museum director Belinda Betts, and strong endorsement of the purchase of the Whiteley sculpture Black Totem II.

    15. Opinion: Focus must be firmly on Gallery's future

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      OPINION: Focus must be firmly on art gallery's future

      THE ground is shaky in the art world and it feels contagious. Artists' boycotts over Transfield's sponsorship of the Biennale of Sydney and federal Arts Minister George Brandis's threat to withhold funding to artists who refuse corporate funding on ethical grounds are just one example.

    16. Damien Minton on signing the new petition

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      Protect Our Culture - Damien Minton on Newcastle Art Gallery and Museum

      Protect Newcastle's Cultural Heritage Sign the PETITION @ http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/newcastle-city-council-protect-newcastle-museum-and-art-gallery-4# Website: http://newiLEAKS.org

    17. Why it's crucial to have Directors

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      Why its Crucial to have Directors at Newcastle Museum and Art Gallery

      Michael Rolfe, CEO of Museums & Galleries of NSW, speaks about why its Crucial to have Directors at Newcastle Museum and Art Gallery following Newcastle City Council's announcement of the removal of the Directors of these important cultural institutions.

    18. Call for Tax Office ruling on Whiteley sculpture

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      Call for tax office ruling on Whiteley sculpture acquisition

      Posted March 24, 2014 07:42:21 Newcastle's arts supporters will call for a ruling from the Australian Taxation Office in the wake of a saga surrounding the acquisition of a Brett Whiteley sculpture. An external investigation into how the Newcastle art gallery acquired Black Totem 2 ended with the sacking of Gallery director Ron Ramsay and his boss Judy Jaeger.

    19. Meeting champions two sacked gallery staff

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      Newcastle News | Newcastle Herald

      NEWCASTLE City Hall erupted into applause - and then a standing ovation - last night. It occurred when almost 300 people were showing their support for sacked former gallery director Ron Ramsey and his departmental boss, Judy Jaeger, at a public protest meeting held to condemn the restructure of Newcastle's cultural institutions.

    20. Please sign the petition to protect Newcastle Museum and Art Gallery

      Gionni Di Gravio
      Petition Organizer
      Protect Newcastle Museum and Art Gallery

      Retain the roles of Directors of Newcastle Art Gallery and Newcastle Museum. Provide the community with access to unbiased, unadulterated facts regarding the donation of the Brett Whiteley sculpture. Block the introduction of admission charges to our Art Gallery and Museum. Protect, support and invest in our cultural institutions to keep them safe now and for future generations.

    Supporters

    @darrenhayes

    Apr 01, 2013

    Newcastle Australia's Art Gallery is on the brink of closure. Sign the petition to save it if you're interested http://t.co/OvkuzG9YoV

    Darren Hayes
    75.3k followers

    @darrenhayes

    Apr 01, 2013

    Newcastle Australia's Art Gallery is on the brink of closure. Sign the petition to save it if you're interested http://t.co/OvkuzG9YoV

    Darren Hayes
    75.3k followers

    Reasons for signing

    • Lee Bethel SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
      • 2 months ago

      My visits to this gallery have alwys been a highlight to travelling through Newcastle.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Judith Hughes AUSTRALIA
      • 6 months ago

      this fine art gallery deserves better than this . Newcastle was lucky to have a person like Ron Ramsey working for them.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Peter Gerhard AUSTRALIA
      • 6 months ago

      Art speaks and its not a foreign language

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Beverley Rees AUSTRALIA
      • 7 months ago

      We have a wonderful gallery in Newcastle. The short sightedness of "civic leaders" is simply mind boggling. We have become the laughing stock of Australia's art world!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Phillip Buckner AUSTRALIA
      • 7 months ago

      I appreciate the need of a quality art gallery to reflect the priorities and aspirations of a vibrant community. I frequently drop in for quiet reflection and inspiration..

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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