Geelong Arts & Cultural Precinct
The area between Johnstone Park and Ryrie Street to the west of the shopping and business district of Geelong is known as the Geelong Arts Precinct. This area is also home to the Geelong Town Hall, which is the main council offices of the City of Greater Geelong.
The city is currently seeking funds for a radical overhaul of the precinct where the current facilities will receive a substantial redevelopment. There are also plans for some pretty innovative landscaping and street works which will bring the area into line with the rest of our recently rejuvenated city. This massive renovation will make the precinct one of the best arts and cultural precincts in the state. The scale of the project put the cost of the whole redevelopment in the vicinity of over 130 million dollars.
The Geelong Art Gallery is attached to the Geelong Town Hall, and it houses a magnificent and varied collection of artworks. Two paintings in particular are extremely special to our Gallery, first being the “View of Geelong” which was painted by Eugene von Guerad in 1856. This painting was bought recently by the museum from legendary English musical creator Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. “A Bush Burial” by Fredrick McCubbin, painted in 1890 is another of the gallery’s most precious works.
GPAC, or the Geelong Performing Arts Centre as it is known in long hand, has been the centre for outstanding theatre productions and all aspects of the performing arts. The venue is a popular live venue for many national and international artists touring through the region. GPAC consists of several different size and style theatres where they hold just about any type of theatre performance. GPAC also manages the magnificent Costa Hall which is located in the Deakin University Wool store Campus on the Waterfront. This magnificent venue can seat 1500 people and is used for large scale concerts, conference meetings and lectures.
The beautiful Art Deco building on the corner of Gheringhap Street and Little Malop Street was once home to the Geelong Court House, before it moved to modern facilities on Railway Terrace opposite Johnstone Park. Today the building is simply known as Courthouse Arts; it is home to a terrific youth based centre where music, theatre and all aspects of art are celebrated. This innovative centre is a springboard for local youth to gain valuable skills and exposure in the arts. Courthouse Arts have a wide range of events, shows and programs which are not only held at the centre but locally in the region. The venue is also a host to shows and productions that tour nationally. The Courthouse Cafe in front of the centre is well regarded as one of Geelong’s best coffee shops and is extremely popular, especially in the mornings.
Formally located between the Geelong Art Gallery and the Geelong Library was the Geelong Heritage Centre that is regarded as Victoria’s largest regional archive. The centre preserves and catalogues a vast array of items relating to the Geelong region’s history and heritage, including, its people and its places with a huge collection of written works, photographs, film, and other cultural artefacts and memorabilia.
The City Of Greater Geelong is about to get a brand new Geelong Library and Geelong Heritage Centre and it will be one of the city’s most iconic buildings when complete. The new dome shaped building will kick start a rejuvenation of the Geelong arts precinct and form a corner stone of the city’s Western Wedge development plan. The old library was demolished in late 2013 and it is expected the brand new facility will be completed in 2015.