Nicknamed the ‘Goreggenheim’ by Saatchi & Saatchi boss Kevin Roberts, the Eastern Southland Gallery is a regional public art museum, situated in the Arts and Heritage Precinct of Gore’s central business district.
Established in a former Carnegie Library building in 1984, the Gallery is a successful adaptive re-use of a significant historic Southland landmark. The original handsome brick library building was funded with a grant of £2,000 from famous Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and designed by prominent Invercargill architect ER Wilson.
The Gallery is operated by the Eastern Southland Gallery Incorporated, and staffed and supported by the Arts and Heritage Department of the Gore District Council.
Throughout its 35 year history the Gallery has maintained a vibrant and energetic annual programme of exhibitions, performances, workshops, lectures, master-classes, and artist-in-residence projects, utilizing key national and international artists, writers, musicians and performers.
In 2002-03, the Eastern Southland Gallery underwent a major redevelopment, following the gifting of a significant collection of international art, to the Gallery, by expatriate New Zealander, John Money of Baltimore. The existing building was totally refurbished and a new wing added, at a cost of $1.3 million, to permanently house the collection. The new wing was officially opened to the public in December 2003, and also hosts a Gallery dedicated to the work of major New Zealand artist Ralph Hotere.