Artspace Mackay was officially opened in February 2003 by Senator Rod Kemp, Commonwealth Minister for Arts and Sport; the Hon. Matt Foley MP, Queensland Minister for Employment, Education and Training, Minister for Youth and Minister for the Arts and Cr Julie Boyd, Mayor of Mackay.
Artspace Mackay was developed through the Queensland Heritage Trails Network (QHTN), a $110 million partnership between Commonwealth, Queensland and local governments to celebrate the Centenary of Federation in 2001. The network developed a series of stimulating tourism pathways that trace Queensland's social, natural, built and cultural heritage.
The Mackay Regional Council (MRC) Art Collection was initiated by the Mackay City Library in the late 1980s and moved to the newly built Artspace.
Mackay in 2002. A gift of 28 hand-coloured lithographs from the 19th century naturalist publications The Birds of The Himalaya Mountains (1831-32) and The Mammals of Australia (1845-63), gifted to the library by Mr Derek Nicholls on behalf of Wilson H.T.M. Ltd. Stock & Sharebrokers under the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme, were the catalyst for both the founding of the collection and the future direction of the collection policy towards book-related prints and drawings.
Artspace Mackay was designed by Cox Rayner Architects and constructed by ABI Group.
Michael Rayner, Cox Rayner Architects, Brisbane
"Artspace Mackay joins a network of outstanding regional galleries throughout Queensland, many of which are housed in adapted existing buildings such as Cairns, Townsville, Gladstone and Brisbane. By contrast, Artspace Mackay is housed in a new building on a 'greenfield' site, away from the main activity areas of its city and in a relatively austere setting of separated civic buildings.