NSW Art Gallery expansion attracts 86,000 visits in opening week


People across New South Wales have flocked to the Art Gallery of NSW’s new building and celebrations.

This week has seen more than 86,000 visits to the gallery and more than 25,000 people celebrate art and music last night for the one-night-only Art for All concert in The Domain.

The free concert – headlined by Grammy-nominated pop star Ellie Goulding – celebrated Sydney’s newest landmark and was the culmination of an opening program of art, music, performance and talks to mark the opening of the Art Gallery’s expansion. Playing alongside Goulding was Australian singer Meg Mac and electronic duo Electric Fields.

Minister for the Arts and Tourism Ben Franklin said he was thrilled to see so many people from across New South Wales embrace the most significant cultural development since the Sydney Opera House.

“The popularity of the expanded Art Gallery and the free opening celebrations have exceeded expectations,” Mr Franklin said.

“As cost of living pressures rise across the country, the NSW Government is committed to ensuring everyone can access cultural institutions and enjoy experiences through our free entry program.

“The Art Gallery’s expansion and celebration events have been a major visitor drawcard for Sydney, with an estimated 33,000 people visiting the Harbour City to celebrate the Gallery’s opening, injecting more than $20 million into the NSW economy.

“The opening of the Art Gallery’s new building is the beginning of an unrivalled calendar of world-class cultural events lined up for Sydney over summer, including Carmen on Cockatoo Island, Noel Sydney, the Australian premiere of Madagascar the Musical, ELEVATE Sydney, Sydney Festival and Sydney WorldPride, reinforcing Sydney’s position as the cultural capital of Australia.”

The calendar of major events for 2022/23 alone is forecast to inject more than $500 million of visitor expenditure into the NSW economy supporting the recovery of local hotels, bars, restaurants, tourism operators and small businesses.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects SANAA, the Art Gallery’s new building doubles the space for art and provides even more incredible creative and cultural experiences for everyone to enjoy, attracting the world’s best touring exhibitions.

The final event in the opening program will take place tonight at 8.30pm with a drone show created by Indigenous artist Reko Rennie.

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