Well over 1100 people made the most of the opportunity to take a look through the new Ashburton Art Gallery and Heritage Centre yesterday, and organisers are over the moon with the response.
Locals streamed through the doors from 10am until the centre was closed at 3pm, with tours running continuously throughout the day, both upstairs and downstairs. Museum and art gallery staff and volunteers were run off their feet showing locals around and answering a huge array of questions about the building, its functions and how it will operate.
The Open Day was organised by the Inside the Box fundraising campaign, and spokesman, Kevin Soster says it was a fantastic day which exceeded all expectations. "We are all delighted by the success of the Open Day and the overwhelmingly positive feedback received from the many locals of all ages who visited the centre yesterday."
"We have been keen to open the building to the public for some time and it has been great to see how well the community has responded to the building and its functions. Many people said they were looking forward to seeing the building completed and to being able to visit it after it is formally opened, probably in October."
Those who visited the Centre yesterday had the unique opportunity to have a look behind the scenes, and to see the work rooms and storage areas of the building which will be out of bounds when the building is opened to the public. Kevin says it gave visitors a greater understanding of how galleries and museums operate and why such a building was needed.
While the Open Day was free to attend, many locals generously made donations, with funds raised on the day nearing $2000. This will be added to the Inside the Box fundraising total, and will be used to assist with the fit-out of the new building.
Learn more about the Inside the Box fundraising campaign
Inside the Box Fundraising Committee