Taking its name from Australia’s golden city, Gold Coast City Gallery is located on the fringe of Surfers Paradise, as part of the Gold Coast Arts Centre and broader Cultural Precinct.
The Gallery’s collection began with the Gold Coast Art Prize in 1968, Judge Eric Westbrook (then Director of the National Gallery of Victoria) selecting Michael Taylor’s Overnight Sleeper (1968) as its first acquisition. Since then prizes have continued to be an important part of the collection, now accounting for over 500 objects and adding the International Ceramic Award and Josephine Ulrick Win Schubert Photography Award to its exhibitions cycle.
As the Gallery and the Gold Coast matured, its collection grew exponentially, particularly through local donors, businesses and government who were interested in supporting its vision. The collection boasts a plethora of Australian greats such as Sidney Nolan, John Olsen and Sydney Ball, with a particular focus on Queensland artists that include William Robinson, Joe Furlonger, Michael Zavros and Scott Redford.
By 2015 the collection was approaching 4000 objects, but so was urgency for an upgraded exhibition and storage facility. To manage this growing civic collection within a new facility, it was also identified that collection management software would need updating to reflect international standards.
In 2016 the Gallery introduced Vernon Collection Management System which has greatly assisted its preparation for the new facility due 2020. To date, Vernon CMS has facilitated the standardisation, monitoring, and digitisation of a variety of policy and procedures. These include but are not limited to; auditing and movement records, acquisitions, loan and copyright agreements, storage simulation, and assisting designers with the planning of the new Gold Coast City Gallery and broader Cultural Precinct Strategy. As the Gallery continues to move forward with infrastructure developments, the potential for online accessibility was an additional reason for choosing Vernon specifically. Noting the exceptional digital work done by organisations such the National Gallery of Victoria’s and Art Gallery of New South Wales’ online collection archives, Vernon will prove crucial for the realisation of similar online projects for the Gold Coast.