Recently a team of Arts and Craft Society members, The Crossing Theatre staff and the Arts North West executive director donned many pairs of white gloves to help and learn how to re-hang important art collections.

The team of Emily McFetridge, Paul Shelly, Kaylene McClenaghan, Olwyn Campey, Caroline Downer and Natalia Smith put in several hours of work at The Crossing Theatre.

The crew was helping to rehang part of the Narrabri Civic Art Collection. That collection began in 1976 and continued to grow thereafter with the judges of art exhibitions conducted by the Narrabri Art and Craft Society recommending works to be purchased for the Civic Art Collection.

The latest addition to the collection came in 2008.

Arts North West executive director Caroline Downer told The Courier what the role of Arts North West is and why it is significant to Narrabri’s art collections.

“Arts North West is the regional arts development organisation for this region,” said Ms Downer.

“Basically we come round and help councils and also arts organisations and individuals with skill development. In this particular case Narrabri Shire Council has a lovely little art collection and they needed some help to work out how to hang it professionally.”

Ms Downer said that the day was a great experience for everyone involved.

“We spent the day with a lovely bunch of people who have helped, from the Arts and Craft Society and The Crossing Theatre,” she said.

“We’ve been taking all of the works down, rearranging them all and then getting them all hung back up and looking good.

“It’s been quite a big day actually but we’re almost there.”

Ms Downer said that the skills learnt on the day are important to keeping art in Narrabri to a high standard.

“It is really important that they have the capacity to do things like this,” said Ms Downer.

“For things like art collections, some of those works are actually quite valuable, and so you want to be able to learn how to look after them.

“You want to be able to make sure that they are available for generations to come.

“And you want to make sure that the community of Narrabri can come and see them looking their best.”

The team assembled about two-thirds of the collection but there is still work to be done.

“In about six months’ time hopefully I’ll be able to come back and we will do another changeover,” said Ms Downer.

“By that stage we will have a fair few people trained up and then they can do it themselves.”

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