Exciting first reveal of Rockhampton Museum of Art

Published Tuesday, 02 November, 2021 at 12:01 PM


Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

The Palaszczuk Government’s investment in regional arts and cultural infrastructure is yielding major benefits in Rockhampton with construction now completed on the new Rockhampton Museum of Art.

Today Deputy Premier Steven Miles joined Minster for the Arts Leeanne Enoch to walk through the$36 million project, funded with $15 million through the Palaszczuk Government’s Building Our Regions program and Arts Queensland investment.

“Our investment is delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery from COVID-19 with more than $15 million flowing to local tradies, local businesses and local suppliers during construction,” Mr Miles said.

“Due to open in early 2022, the new Rockhampton Museum of Art will feature large flexible gallery spaces, multi-purpose education spaces, a restaurant, retail space and a function area on the top floor overlooking the Fitzroy River.

“Projects funded through Building our Regions are designed to create and sustain long-term employment in regional Queensland.

“This key infrastructure project for Queensland will also feature the latest technology, temperature and climate control.”

Minister Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment of $15 million for the Rockhampton Museum of Art was a long-term investment in the local economy and community that further highlights the important role of cultural infrastructure in growing regional development.

“The economic boost and job creation of this development goes beyond the construction industry to include the arts sector and broader Rockhampton community and will continue to create economic benefits for future generations,” Minister Enoch said.

“The next stage in the transformation of the new Rockhampton Museum of Art, which is six times the size of the old Rockhampton Art Gallery, will be to relocate the Gallery’s esteemed Australian modern art collection.

“With additional exhibition space and enhanced technical features, the new Museum can present even more of its magnificent collection of contemporary works from artists including John Brack, Arthur Boyd, Russell Drysdale, Sidney Nolan, Jeffrey Smart and Margaret Olley, and host nationally significant travelling exhibitions.

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the new Rockhampton Museum of Art will showcase Queensland artists and deliver an expanded program of community engagement events.  

“One of the first exhibitions planned for next year is a solo exhibition from local artist Luke Roberts who received Queensland Government funding of $49,800 through the Queensland Arts Showcase Program, delivering on the Museum’s aim to showcase Queensland artists,” Mr O’Rourke said.

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said the facility would be an important contributor to the region’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Arts and cultural tourists are more likely to stay longer and spend more, so this world-class new Rockhampton Museum of Art will be an important driver of visitors to our reason” Ms Lauga said.

Minister Enoch said due to Queensland’s positive health response and the release of Queensland’s COVID Vaccination Plan to Unite Families, the Rockhampton Museum of Art would be in a strong position to welcome interstate and international visitors when it opened in 2022.

“The arts inject $8.5 billion into the state’s economy and supporting more than 92,000 jobs for Queenslanders,” Ms Enoch said.

The Queensland Government’s investment in the new Rockhampton Museum of Art aligns with the Government’s 10-year Creative Together roadmap to activate Queensland’s local places, strengthen Queensland communities and tell Queensland stories.  

Rockhampton Region Mayor Tony Williams said it is fantastic to reach this stage of delivering the new Rockhampton Museum of Art.

“Our community has had a front row seat as this building has been constructed right in the heart of our CBD,” said Mayor Williams.

“There have been over 900 tradespeople involved over the life of this project – from demolition of the previous buildings to the completion of all building works.  

“It’s been a huge project, but walking through the building it’s clear that it has absolutely been worth it. There is so much potential here for our community, and at the moment this building offers an incredible blank canvas.

“Over the next few months we’ll move in one of the most significant regional collections of Australian modern art, and prepare to open the doors of this major arts hub to our community early next year.

“This project is a credit to what we can deliver for our community when all three levels of government work together.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Minister Enoch – Philip Pope 0437 859987