The NRCG has opened to the public in line with COVID-19 guidelines which is in the minority of NSW galleries and museums.
The NRCG has opened to the public in line with COVID-19 guidelines which is in the minority of NSW galleries and museums.

Survey reveals how galleries are coping with restrictions

COVID-19 restrictions have had a significant impact on NSW art galleries and museums according to a new survey.

The Create NSW survey into museum and art galleries surveyed 180 organisations, many from regional areas to get an insight into their experience opening in the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the survey results, 73 per cent of organisations stayed closed after June 1 but 64 per cent of those planned to be open by the end of June.

But 23 per cent of that amount had no time frame to reopen at all.

Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG) and the Lismore Regional Gallery have opened in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.

Both galleries have experienced relatively smooth openings despite needing to alter their staffing arrangements to comply with guidelines.

"Our reopening (we reopened on 17 June) has gone quite smoothly. We have reduced our opening hours, as a number of our volunteers have been unable to return due to health concerns," Brett Adlington, director of Lismore Regional Gallery, said.

"While our visitation has naturally been lower than usual, we have found many of our visitors have really appreciated the opportunity to visit the gallery."

"It has been wonderful to be open again, connect with our patrons and reinstall the shows that were rudely interrupted by the first lockdown … going to a gallery is something people can still do with minimal risk as it does not involve large crowds, touching or proximity to others," Melitta Firth, acting gallery coordinator at the NRCG .

In the survey, galleries and museums cited an inability to comply with health guidelines and concerns about community transmission as reasons to remain closed.

"NRCG worked with Council to address COVID Safety protocols … our COVID safety plan is working well and will be adapted as needed as the situation evolves," Ms Firth said.

"Our COVID plan has been working quite well. I think the State Government has done a comprehensive job in ensuring each individual industry has been considered closely so that they can reopen safely," Mr Adlington said.

The NRCG and Lismore Regional Gallery are open for exhibitions, see www.nrcg.org or www.lismoregallery.org.