These first-look images reveal how Aberdeen Art Gallery will look when its £30million renovation is completed.
The Press and Journal has been granted a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the transformation the historic Victorian building is undergoing to become “one of the greatest regional galleries on the planet”.
With modern digital displays, a new and improved war memorial area, a whole floor of new space for artwork, dedicated children’s educational spaces and more, council chiefs hope the refurbished gallery will become the masterpiece of Aberdeen’s cultural heritage.
Now the north-east is being urged to rally around the project and own a piece of history.
The ambitious scheme will include 21 new gallery spaces, an area for artists in residence and a dedicated community gallery to exhibit more of Aberdeen’s art hoard – most of which is currently being held in storage – than ever before.
Visitors will also be able to make the most of the city’s granite skyline from a new rooftop viewpoint.
The council has already secured £20.5million of the funding through £10million from its own non-housing capital fund, £10million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £500,000 from donors.
But now leaders of the local authority have asked residents, philanthropists and businesses from across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and further afield to get involved and stake their claim in the new Aberdeen Art Gallery through donations and sponsorship to raise the final £9.5million required.
The local authority has created a variety of options, both big and small, to allow the public to help make the gallery truly belong to the Granite City, such as donating or sponsoring parts of the
building, via the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Development Trust.
Last night council leader Jenny Laing said: “The scale and quality of the project cannot be understated.
“It puts a stake in the ground, marking out Aberdeen’s future as something bold and extraordinary. We are a proud and ambitious people, and as a city, determined to compete with the very best.
“This project, which also includes the transformation of the Cowdray Hall and Hall of Remembrance, will deliver for the people of Aberdeen one of the greatest regional galleries on the planet.”
Maire Lanaghan, a trustee of the gallery, added: “This is a monumental project for the city of Aberdeen.
“We want to start a public conversation around the role art and culture play in our society in the hope that people will feel inspired to make a spiritual and financial contribution to the development.
“Art not only has the power to illuminate our lives and enrich our emotional world, but it can also help children and young people thrive in an education setting, impact on communities and help drive a new cultural economy which is crucial to our city’s future.
“At the end of the day, the people of Aberdeen are gatekeepers of art and culture in the city, and it is only right that they are given an opportunity to play a leading role in the creation of this wonderful facility.”
For those wishing to donate, visit www.aagm.co.uk/donate or call 01224 523670.
Donations can also be made by texting AAGM001 to 70970 to donate £5, and AAGM001 to 70191 to donate £10.