Griffith's Brian Sainty wants to see the city's art gallery have enough room to feature the best of local and visiting artists in our community.
Mr Sainty said a recent visit to see the 2020 Archibald Prize exhibition in Griffith highlighted the gallery's deficiencies.
He said in the words of other gallery operators and the professional art community, Griffith's was too small, it lacked proper climate control and there was inadequate security for
"We're very lucky to have the Archibald because the display of the Archibalds is a bit second-class because of the constrained space," he said.
Mr Sainty said the variety of works entered in the Archibald Prize made setting an exhibition more difficult because the doors of the city's gallery aren't designed for art to be moved through it.
"It's not a purpose-built gallery," he said.
Mr Sainty said Griffith's gallery cared for the internationally renowned Weymouth Dresses and the National Contemporary Jewellery collections.
He said they were big drawcards for tourists visiting the area, but the gallery didn't have the space to exhibit fully.
"The gallery was opened in 1983 and in the following years it has not changed," he said.
"In Wagga and Albury, they've had two to three upgrades and extensions in that time."
Mr Sainty said with a purpose-built gallery, there could be three exhibition spaces for travelling exhibitions, permanent exhibitions and one for local and indigenous artists.
"It would help pull tourists to town, and help support our city's businesses," he said.
"We've got agriculture and industry, but tourism brings people who can spend money over a broad field. They bring new money to the community and added employment.
"Art tourism is really big and can be more valuable than sport."
He said Griffith previously had not worked to improve its reputation as a tourist attraction, but the city and the area had changed, with the Whitton Malt House opening, winery cellar doors, Altina Wildlife Park and the Aisling Distellery.
Plus events like Street Scapes, the Banna Lane Festival and Springfest were putting the city on the map.
Mr Sainty said a bigger art gallery would mean instead of visitors spending 15 minutes in the city's gallery they could spend a few hours and extend their stay in Griffith.
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