The case for the Art Museum of Kangaroo Island

Artist's impression of the below-ground AMKI galleries.
Artist's impression of the below-ground AMKI galleries.

Volunteering is a tough gig. It's mostly head down and not enough time to let people know what you are doing.

The committee of four that is driving the Art Museum of Kangaroo Island realises it is past time to let the KI community know how the project is going.

The committee took on board the good faith shown to us in the community consultation last year (more than 80 per cent for the project and to be sited at Captain Morgan Park) and pressed on with developing a business case.

Through a Regional Arts Fund Recovery grant in late 2020, the AMKI committee engaged high-calibre consultants to produce a design direction concept, a costing of the concept and a thorough investigation of the earnings and costs, and of the social, cultural and economic outcomes from such a facility.

That business case is now done, and worth the time, effort and care it took.

Please visit the AMKI website (artmuseumkangarooisland.org) and read about the benefits the Art Museum would bring to Kangaroo Island.

The business case also meets with council conditions for it to reconsider the proposal after a previous request to lease the land in 2020.

The council motion, in part, said it required: a "life-cycle costed business case...prepared by a reputable professional, experienced in this field" and "demonstrat[ing] no financial reliance or risk to the ratepayers of Kangaroo Island".

Having met those conditions through the business case, the AMKI committee has again requested a lease from KI Council for a portion of the land at Captain Morgan Park and is backed by support in writing from KI Art Society and Artists Collective KI, and island businesses and organisations.

The design direction, by the renowned Kerstin Thompson Architects, compiles all the desired spaces into one building - including two galleries, artist-in-residence facilities, community spaces, cafe, and behind-the-scenes necessities.

It is not a set-in-stone 'look'. It served to give the quantity surveyors and economists a solid base to work on.

The business case indicates a long-term viable community asset. As a major art space of excellence unique in regional South Australia, AMKI would add a dimension to the island's tourism offering and be a creative catalyst for other businesses.

AMKI is not a retail gallery - it is a not-for-profit project for the Kangaroo Island community at a time when we need long-term, strategic, recovery projects.

All monies generated will stay on the Island and go back into the community.

Kathie Stove, Chairperson, AMKI Establishment Association

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