New SAM project board progressing development

A SAM Project Board was established after the May 2015 Council meeting and is investigating the next stages to progress the development of the new Shepparton Art Museum.

The Project Board has 12 members representing Regional Development Victoria, the SAM Foundation, Gallery Kaiela and Yorta Yorta Nation. There are also representatives of Greater Shepparton City Council, from SAM, Planning, Economic Development, Marketing and Communications, Visitor Information and Project Management.

To date the Project Board has developed a Terms of Reference and a Communication Plan and has started work on four task areas including a building design/architecture competition; the Governance process; funding applications; and project planning.

Project Board Chairperson and Council Director Community, Kaye Thomson said the Project Board has a lot of work to do over the next few years to bring the concept to fruition. “Council committed to the development of the new art museum and our work now is to guide that process and ensure Shepparton receives a building and community meeting space that meets the needs of our community.”

“At the moment the Board is investigating an architectural design competition which is very exciting. We need to have some concrete ideas to present to government in our applications for funding so this will be an important task we need to complete,” said Ms Thomson.

“A design competition will open the concept for a new SAM to top architectural firms with experience in developing other museums. We need a building that is a drawcard for locals as well as visitors. We want people to visit Shepparton with SAM as a must-see item on their list. A building sited on the lake’s edge with a view over our wetlands and natural bushlands will have an outstanding outlook, there is nothing in Shepparton that’s connects so well with its environment,” said Ms Thomson.

“At the moment we don’t know what the building will look like except that it needs to be multilevel and multifunctional. Once we have a design with tangible details we can take that to State and Federal governments to support our funding bids.”

“At the same time we are exploring the governance model for the new SAM,” said Ms Thomson. “Setting up the governance structure is a complex task and we have experts in the field guiding this investigation.”

“Ultimately, the new SAM concept has a brief to be a museum with the artist at its centre, a meeting place for the region’s people, providing captivating art experiences and connection to the Aboriginality and multi-cultural origins of the region’s heritage.”

“The museum will also provide a permanent home for the Visitor Information Centre and a home for Gallery Kaiela,” said Ms Thomson.

The new SAM will be a multi-level building overlooking the Victoria Park Lake with an establishment cost of $34.5m. Greater Shepparton City Council will fund $10m of this amount with the remainder expected to come from the SAM Foundation, State Government and Federal Government.

Media enquiries Sonja King   (03) 5832 9701 or 0407 523 945