Kim Partington - Chief Finance Officer of the National Gallery of Australia.
21 August 2020
Our beloved National Gallery of Australia (NGA) has safety in the frame as Gallery staff welcome visitors back to view artistic treasures and new exhibitions.
“We are bringing art to all Australians, be it onsite, online or on tour,” said Kym Partington, Chief Finance Officer of the NGA.
“When COVID-19 arrived, we had to make the sad decision to close the gallery, to cover artwork and to take down the Matisse and Picasso exhibition.
“We then turned our mind to what we could do and moved engagement with the collection online.
“Online curators and gallery staff gave talks from their homes on their favourite pieces and we presented virtual guided tours as well as art challenges for the public via social media.
“We brought art into the living rooms of thousands of Australians.”
In the 71 days the NGA was closed, staff worked through all the new procedures and protocols they would need in place to open safely.
“We want our visitors to be confident that we are a safe place to visit,” Kym said.
“We worked really closely with the ACT Government and the Chief Health Officer on what was possible and what wasn’t when they were developing the restrictions and guidelines for cultural institutions.
“We put in place a new cleaning regime with much more frequent cleaning of all touchpoints.
“For the first time, we introduced free ticketed sessions to manage the number of visitors in the gallery at any one time, and we closed some smaller galleries to manage social distancing.
“We only have one entry and exit point now, and as soon as they arrive, visitors are prompted to sanitise their hands and social distance.
“Our security, cleaners and visitor experience staff have all undertaken COVID-19 safety training and they receive regular briefings on working safely and practising physical distancing.
“The safety of our staff and visitors is our top priority.”
Kym highlights the new exhibitions and experiences available to visitors returning to the NGA, like the conservation work underway on the Australian treasure Blue Poles by Jackson Pollock, which can be viewed on level 2.
“Come in and see our work, get involved online and get ready for the Know My Name exhibition featuring female artists from across Australia and the world, that opens on 14 November 2020,” Kym concluded.