Grant gets ball rolling on MRAG air conditioning upgrade
Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG) will be able to embark on the first step of three-part air conditioning upgrade after receiving a NSW Government grant.
The gallery has received a $100,000 Heritage Near Me Green Energy Grant to improve the air conditioning system’s cooler, which needs to be completed before work can commence on air conditioning the entire building.
While not always noticeable in the exhibition areas much of the building is not air conditioned, including the collections storage area, which impacts on MRAG’s ability to borrow major works as the storage conditions do not meet national standards.
Additionally, just over half the building does not have effective humidity control, which is particularly important for works on paper.
MRAG’s Cultural Director Brigette Uren said that ideal conditions would be 21 degrees in summer and 23 degrees in winter with humidity between 50 and 55 per cent.
“This is a really important project for us,” she said.
“The air conditioning is massive requirement in order to loan significant works of art.
“We are quite limited in what we can get from places like the National Gallery, the National Museum and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.”
At the end of the project, yearly energy cost savings are expected to be between $30,000 and $40,000.
$50,000 has already been raised for the upgrades through private donors.