ALAN Sisley was passionate about visual arts at the grassroots and his legacy continues to thrive at the Orange Regional Gallery.
This Friday, his memory will once again be honoured as part of the 2016 Alan Sisley Annual Oration.
Mr Sisley was director of the Orange Regional Gallery for more than 20 years, and his main emphasis was ensuring that the gallery was an equitable space where everybody was welcome.
Friends of the Orange Regional Gallery president Rosslyn Kemp said that legacy continues today.
“While the gallery was here and a concern, he took it forward to the next stage,” she said.
“He worked with local artists to ensure that when their work was exhibited in the gallery it was presented in the best possible way.
“He also encouraged the local community of art lovers by bringing exhibitions from elsewhere, so he really lifted the standard available to the Orange public.”
Ms Kemp described Mr Sisley as gregarious, funny and someone who was not afraid to voice his opinions.
She said he was genuine and had strong beliefs in social justice.
“Whatever you were doing, whether it be music or art or business, he believed you had to aim for the top,” she said.
“At the same time he was also an egalitarian - it was a great mix and he was a loved character.
“When he died, we wanted to memorialise him in some way - what he really liked was a good conversation with argument and discussion and people putting forward their views.
“The oration brings people together who are eminent in their field to talk about their passions.”
This year’s Alan Sisley Annual Oration will include internationally-acclaimed classical flautist Jane Rutter who will perform as well as discuss the need for children to be exposed to excellence in the arts.
The 2016 Alan Sisley Annual Oration - An Evening with Jane Rutter begins at 6.30pm on Friday at the Orange Regional Conservatorium. Bookings can be made at org.nsw.gov.au/friends.html.