A decade on from Maitland Council's visionary redevelopment of Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG), a range of exhibitions and events will commence later this month to celebrate.
Gallery coordinator Kattie Bugeja said the festivities, starting on August 23, will include the launch of new eight exhibitions from more than 250 creative contributors.
"It is hard to believe that it was 10 years ago that Margaret Olley stood on the front steps and declared this wonderful gallery open," she said.
"In the decade since we have welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors and thousands of artists to create one of the most dynamic regional galleries in NSW.
"We are thrilled to launch eight new exhibitions themed 'X Marks the Spot', to celebrate ten years of MRAG.
"Meet makers, creators, artists, musicians and performers, as we launch eight new exhibitions. Come along and bring your family and friends in this tribute to one of Maitland's treasures, MRAG."
A new six metre tall permanent installation by internationally acclaimed contemporary artist and Maitland's own, Nell, will be unveiled to acknowledge the Gallery's significant milestone.
'Unfolding Time' honours architect, art lover, philanthropist and MRAG partner, Penelope Seidler's, generous gift to the city of an impressive collection of artworks valued at over $400,000.
The collection features icons Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, alongside critically acclaimed artists William Kentridge, Shaun Gladwell, Fiona Hall, Charles Blackman, Michael Cook, Destiny Deacon and Imants Tillers.
Also featured is two time Archibald Prize winner Del Kathryn Barton with a hauntingly beautiful interpretation of Oscar Wilde's 'The Nightingale and the Rose', brought to life by the artist in collaboration with filmmaker Brendan Fletcher in an ACMI touring exhibition.
MRAG Members will also showcase an exclusive preview to 'Made in the Light' on Friday, August 23 from 6pm until 9pm. This is a ticketed fundraising event with bookings available at maitlandticketing.com.au.
"There will be inspiration around every corner from paintings to puppets," Ms Bugeja said.
"There will be multiple events happening from the Friday, August 23 to Sunday, August 25. We aim to be as inclusive and accessible as we possibly can be.
"There is something for everyone. A desire to engage, inspire, empower, welcome and sometimes challenge, has earned MRAG the title of 'the people's gallery' which is an achievement to celebrate. "
Full details of all MRAG activities are available online at mrag.org.au.