Monet draws crowds

THE ambitious Monet and Japan exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia has proved to be well worth the $1.6 million risk, attracting more than 2,000 people a day in the first 10 days of the exhibition.

Art Gallery of WA director Alan Dodge is bullish about reaching the target of 112,000 visitors needed to make the project break even.

The work of the Claude Monet has proved very attractive to the corporate sector, with corporate functions and private viewings booked for almost every night of the exhibition.

The Lotteries Commission has even launched a special Money Monet Scratch’n’Win instant ticket to coincide with the show.

Mr Dodge said the show had attracted bumper crowds, totalling 22,000 people in the first few days of the exhibition.

“We’ve been averaging about 2,000 people a day and we sold 2,000 catalogues in four days, we’ve had to go to reprint,” Mr Dodge said.

“We could go beyond our target, my only wonder is what will happen when the school holidays are over.

“We’ve worked really hard with the hotels to put packages together and the feedback I have got is all the initial tickets sold through hotels have had re-orders.”

Art Gallery of Western Australia marketing and promotion manager Anne-Marie Barich said the gallery actively pursued a partnership with the tourism sector to ensure the exhibition was promoted to visitors throughout WA.

“We’ve done a lot of work with tourism, the gallery has never sought a relationship with the tourism before, but Monet was a great vehicle for that,“ Ms Barich said.

With Qantas and the Airlink on board as sponsors of the exhibition, the Art Gallery was able to get promotional material into airports in regional areas all over WA. Local hotels also have embraced the idea.

“With our tourism program we wanted to remind them (tourism operators) that we have this huge cultural asset,” Ms Barich said.

The Art Gallery has extended its opening hours to 6pm daily and a late opening until 8pm on Wednesdays to give business people in the city a chance to catch the show after work.

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