Tomich will help chase art gifts

Former Albury city general manager Les Tomich will help co-ordinate philanthropic support for the Albury Art Gallery. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

Former Albury city general manager Les Tomich will help co-ordinate philanthropic support for the Albury Art Gallery. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

FORMER Albury city general manager Les Tomich has been appointed to an Albury Regional Art Gallery advisory group that will help the institution secure philanthropic support.

Mr Tomich was a driving force behind the $10.5 million art gallery redevelopment before his retirement from council in late 2012 due to health reasons.

City councillors last night confirmed his appointment and that of John Skillington, Tony Smith, Jacinta Mirams, Dr Guinever Threlkeld, Maree Cables, Mary-Lou Nugent and a senior curator from the NSW Art Gallery to be nominated by its collections director.

Eight external nominations for the advisory group were received and they will be joined by Cr Graham Docksey as the council’s representative.

The council and the former Labor federal government each committed $3.5 million to the art gallery.

Ratepayers were forced to double their contribution when the NSW government baulked at a matching amount.

Philanthropic funding was listed as one way the council could re-coup some of its additional outlay.

Mr Skillington is the head of art at James Fallon High School with 32 years’ experience in arts education.

Mr Smith has been involved with the gallery since it opened in Dean Street in 1981, firstly on the board of trustees and then as founding chairman of the Albury Wodonga Regional Arts Foundation.

Mrs Mirams heads the Friends of the Albury Regional Gallery and Dr Threlkeld is La Trobe University’s Albury-Wodonga head of campus.

Mrs Cables is a prominent businesswoman and fund-raiser and chairwoman of Arts Albury, a volunteer philanthropy group aiming to raise $1.1 million for the art gallery redevelopment.

Ms Nugent is the head of travelling exhibitions at the National Gallery of Australia and is originally from Albury.

They have been appointed initially for two years with the option of an additional two years.

The advisory group is expected to hold its first meeting next month.

The new gallery is expected to be ready to host exhibitions by mid-next year.

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