Victoria’s regional art galleries have a colourful history replete with political drama, directors vilified, battles with arts bureaucrats, generous benefactors and dedicated citizens fighting for a better deal for the arts in everyday life. The early galleries in Ballarat, Bendigo, Warrnambool and Geelong grew out of post-Gold Rush wealth and the desire of prominent citizens to improve the quality of cultural life. In the post-War years a new movement, beginning in Mildura, began to fight for the rights of all rural citizens to have exposure to the arts, through improved government funding and assistance from the National Gallery of Victoria. The new galleries had a regional focus, led by visionaries and not always supported by local councils and ratepayers whose priorities lay with practical needs such as paved roads, sewers and sporting fields. The conflicts continue to this day. This is the ongoing story of Art for the Country.