Your questions answered

What will the art museum ‘do’?

The art museum will be a place for promoting Kangaroo Island art and developing the art practice and knowledge of island artists. It will house a collection of Kangaroo Island art, travelling and temporary exhibitions, facilities for artists-in-residence, and workshop and meeting spaces. It is expected to also have a shop, a café/bar and function area, as well as performance space and inviting environmental surrounds. It will be designed with the community in mind and to appeal to the discerning visitor from Australia and abroad.

It is not a retail gallery, and because of its tourism appeal should increase sales in the existing community and retail galleries on KI.

Why does the island need an art museum?

  • At present no building or space on the island has the climate and security conditions to house notable exhibitions such as national and international touring exhibitions. Kangaroo Island’s own ‘Island to Inland’ exhibition, which toured to 13 regional South Australian galleries could not come to the island because there was no suitable gallery space.
  • The strength of visual art on Kangaroo Island, both professional and community, is not well known or documented. The art museum would place our art, and the history that has prompted its development, on display in the public domain.
  • Tourism statistics show that visitors find KI lacking in cultural and historic experiences. They have a much lower satisfaction rate (compared to, for example, wildlife experiences) with the range, quality and availability of activities available. (See the Australia Council reports on Domestic Arts Tourism (PDF)  and Arts and tourism more widely (PDF))
  • The benefits of public galleries extend beyond the art community to the local community, to school students and partner organisations. (Regional Galleries Association of SA Mapping Project (PDF)
  • Public galleries are known tourism drawcards especially if in a spectacular location, have a compelling ‘look’ and experience, and are curated adventurously and interestingly.
  • Kangaroo Island artists are the island’s best kept secret yet their quality and proportion of the population is high by any regional standards.

How will the building and operation be funded?

Early concepts for the Art Museum have a maximum construction budget of $16 million and annual operating budget of $1.1 million (probably less but we’re stating the higher figures until we have a building design and plan). We anticipate that funding will come from a range of sources: construction from government regional and infrastructure grants, philanthropy, sponsorship and donations; and operations from entry price (non-islanders), travelling exhibitions entry, café/bar and shop, supporters club, grants, events/space hire, philanthropy, sponsorship and bequests.

Economic modelling by Regional Development Australia for the region (includes Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula as well as Kangaroo Island) indicates that the Art Museum would increase:

  • arts and recreational sector spending (construction costs + flow-on, operation and tourism) from $3.4 million (2019) to $62.2 million
  • gross regional product by $25.1 million, an 8.6% uplift
  • job numbers by 513, representing a more than 16% uplift.

Why has the preferred site been chosen for the Art Museum of Kangaroo Island?

The art museum and its associated outdoor facilities located on this spectacular site would add to the land’s value as a community asset. The site is close to the population centre of Kingscote as a source of workers and volunteers, and creates an inviting tourism offering for Kingscote. It is also apart enough to create a ‘sense of arrival’ at the site.

The grounds would be available for public use and enhanced by event spaces, seating and café facilities for people to enjoy. It would attract more people to enjoy the scenic beauty for which the land is dedicated. The land would allow gallery buildings to be ‘built into the slope’ for sustainability and bushfire protection, and remain below the viewline of nearby residences.

The site is also near other places of historical and cultural interest – Reeves Point and Hope Cottage (both State Heritage places), and Flagstaff Hill. It would add to the culture/history experience of the walking trail that Advance Kingscote is developing in and around Kingscote.

What is the standing of the group proposing the Art Museum?

The Art Museum of Kangaroo Island Establishment Association was incorporated (A43415) in August 2017. The core committee is supported by advisers in business, events and collections. Country Arts South Australia and Regional Development Australia, Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island, are both actively supporting the project with advisers and in other substantial ways.

The association is a member of Kangaroo Island Business and Brand Alliance, Regional Galleries Association of South Australia, and Australian Museums and Galleries Association. It is registered on the Australian Cultural Fund to receive tax-deductible donations for specific fund-raising projects.

Who will run the art museum once it is open?

The AMKI Establishment Association will dissolve on the opening of the Art Museum having completed transition to the art museum’s governing body. That not-for-profit body will have a financial and governance structure suitable for management and operation of an Art Museum run on behalf of the community of Kangaroo Island.

How can I be kept up to date on what’s happening or become involved?

Visit the Art Museum’s website, to join the email list, and follow us on Instagram @artmuseumkangarooisland and Twitter @ArtsKangarooIs.

Who are the committee members and how can I contact them?

Chair and Treasurer: Kathie Stove, 0417 086 870, (please contact committee members at this email address)

Secretary: Janine Mackintosh

Fundraising: Ria Byass

Building: Deb Sleeman

Curator, director and gallery vision developer, Maudie Palmer AO, is advising the committee pro bono.