A weekend of celebrations have been planned to mark the reopening of Lake Macquarie’s art gallery following a $2.3 million makeover.

The refreshed venue will debut a new name – the Museum of Art and Culture, or MAC for short – and offer an exciting program of exhibitions, live entertainment and tours when it reopens to the public on Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24.

“Our popular art gallery has received a major renovation as well as a new name to better reflect the exciting contemporary art exhibitions and programs we will host over the coming years,” Lake Macquarie City Council’s manager for arts, culture and tourism, Jacqui Hemsley, said.

“MAC is a destination point for our city, where visitors have access to stunning artworks from national and emerging contemporary artists all while taking in the incredible views of the Lake.”

Three exhibitions, ‘us’, ‘we’ and ‘be’, will be showing at MAC on the weekend of the reopening.

Us (Universal Stories) is an exhibition featuring work by contemporary artists whose practices tell stories about the human condition transcending specific politics, culture, religion, gender and geographical location.

We (Wiyelliko) explores the elemental response of contemporary Aboriginal artists to their environment.

Be (Be Remembered) celebrates MAC’s two most significant gifts: the Ruth Spenser Koman Bequest, of the Dobell collection, and the recent Shirley Firkin Bequest, comprising of works from 1960s-70s by artists such as Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd, Robert Dickerson, Tom Gleghorn and Margaret Olley.

Also on offer during the reopening weekend will be children’s activities including expression through sound, storytime with Aboriginal artist Michelle Earle and an interactive workshop about Aboriginal language and songs; live music on the terrace with DJ Wanjun Carpenter; Hunter Arts Network Art Bazaar, and; guided exhibition tours with the curators.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser said the launch weekend will be an opportunity for the community to experience the new activities and programs MAC has to offer.

“MAC is reinventing the way we do art in Lake Macquarie,” Cr Fraser said.

“The contemporary space will host a range of engaging and inspiring exhibitions and programs from a range of artists.

“I’d encourage all residents and visitors to the region to join us to experience MAC and its incredible exhibitions during our opening weekend.”