Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

MAGNT’s Marcus Schutenko views opportunity

The Territory Labor Government continues to invest in job creating projects to support local businesses as we navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

A design consultancy tender has been awarded to local architectural company, Ashford Group Pty Ltd, who are supported by local and national partners, to undertake the design and documentation work for the new art gallery at the State Square Precinct in Darwin’s CBD.

It will be a high quality cultural facility to showcase art from the Territory’s collection and host Australian and international exhibitions, creating jobs during its design, construction and operation.

The State Square art gallery is part of the Civic and State Square Masterplan, included in the $200 million City Deal.

Positioned as an architectural attraction in its own right, the art gallery will seek to draw more visitors and Territorians to the Civic and State Square precinct and elevate Darwin’s prominence as a must-visit arts tourism destination as visitation resumes.

With outdoor spaces that connect with the green spaces of the Civic and State Square precinct, the gallery will provide more opportunities for local participation in arts programs, special events, festivals, and other public programs.

The building’s design will be ecologically sustainable in line with the Territory Labor Government’s climate change target of zero net emissions by 2050, and architecturally respectful of its culturally and historically significant surrounds, alongside the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory and Parliament House.

The 10 Year Museums Master Plan for Darwin and Palmerston, which was based on industry and stakeholder consultation, supported the establishment of an art gallery in the Darwin CBD.

Construction is expected to begin in 2021.

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) Board will operate the new facility on behalf of the Northern Territory Government.

Quotes from Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss:

“The new State Square art gallery will create jobs during its design, construction and in operation, so it’s great to see work progressing on this important project.

“Once built, it will encourage people to visit the Darwin CBD and provide an opportunity to host prestigious local, national and international art exhibitions.

“The project is part of the Territory Labor Government’s job creating Civic and State Square precinct revitalisation funded by the $200 million Cities Deal and will help to assist in the Territory’s economic recovery post COVID-19.”

Quotes from Member for Port Darwin, Paul Kirby MLA:

“Right now our priority is helping to support Territory businesses by creating and supporting local jobs – and positioning the CBD to be ready for the Covid rebound. Projects like the State Square art gallery are more important than ever.

“The project will help to revitalise Darwin’s city centre into a vibrant, tropical and green hub of cultural activity, creating new offerings with inspiring attractions for Territorians and visitors.”

Quotes from MAGNT Director, Marcus Schutenko

“The new art museum will provide a fabulous opportunity to showcase MAGNT’s outstanding art collection, in particular our Aboriginal art and South East Asian art collections.  It will provide visitors with exciting opportunities to engage with some of Australia’s most prestigious public and private collections and will contribute to the richness and vibrancy of our amazing city.”

Media contact: Lisa Sennett 0436 929 858

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2020
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