After a $2.3 million redevelopment project in 2019, the former Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery entered a new phase as a youthful and forward-thinking art museum. The venue transformation resulted in additional exhibition and collection space, a new name, new brand and the establishment of yapang, a dedicated Aboriginal program and space.
The Museum of Art and Culture, Lake Macquarie – known simply as MAC – aims to be a place where people are engaged in, inspired by, and connected with arts, culture and fresh ideas through exhibitions, indoor and outdoor events, public programming, and digital engagement.
MAC has become known for developing outstanding and award-winning exhibitions, both in-house and by guest curators, balanced with quality touring and community produced projects. The emphasis is on contemporary arts practice including a focus on First People’s arts through the yapang program.
Developed over 40 years, the MAC collection is part of the Lake Macquarie Cultural Collection and comprises two-and three-dimensional pieces, as well as outdoor works as a part of the Urban and Public Art collection.
Artists represented across the collections include Ian Burns, Arthur Boyd, William Dobell, Ian Friend, Nigel Helyer, Jonathan Jones, Vernon Ah Kee, Janet Laurence, Brett McMahon, Jamie North, Margaret Olley, Judy Watson and Anne Zahalka.
The MAC Society supports the development of the visual arts component of Lake Macquarie’s Cultural Collections through fundraising activities and events. Annual membership fees start from $10 for students and $25 for singles.
In 2020, MAC debuted the Lake Art Prize, a biennial national acquisitive project with a prize pool of $25,000. The theme of the inaugural prize is Where there is water, with artists invited to investigate physical and conceptual aspects of water. The prize is open to Australian artists aged 18 years and older, with artworks across all mediums eligible to enter.