The Bendigo community will be asked to donate up to $1 million to the Bendigo Art Gallery as part of its redevelopment.
Gallery director Karen Quinlan made the announcement at a special event on Friday night.
The gallery is "dedicating a wall to the public". Locals can buy a "virtual brick" for $50. There are 20,000 bricks available.
"The aim is to connect the Bendigo community physically to the building," Ms Quinlan said.
"There are 20,000 bricks in the wall and we hope in the next 12 months to involve the community in the building of this wall becoming an integral part of our growth and evolution."
The gallery also unveiled a major acquisition of 11 works by controversial Australian artist Bill Henson.
The acquisition of such a large suite of works, which includes the purchase of eight works with three works generously donated by a private benefactor, is unique for an Australian gallery.
The announcement was one of a number made by gallery director Karen Quinlan in an address on Friday night.
"We wished to do something substantial. Something that told more of a wholehearted story of a major Australian artist," she said.
"Although the purchase of such a large suite of works is extremely rare in Australia, we believe this type of undertaking is long overdue.
"Choosing this group of works by Bill Henson provides an unequalled opportunity to achieve a much deeper understanding and experience of this internationally acclaimed artist’s work.
"Unlike single works, these works collectively create an immersive experience and show more vividly the intention of this exceptional artist. We are delighted at being given the opportunity to make this significant acquisition, providing an important and unique way for visitors to experience art."
The purchase is the beginning of a longer-term collaboration between the gallery and Henson. A major project is now in development involving a collaboration between Bill Henson, Bendigo Art Gallery and several major European institutions.
The works will be on view in the gallery until February 24.
The gallery Foundation also announced it received a gift of $100,000 from the Sidney Myer Fund.
It also announced it will reveal at least five major international exhibitions to come to the region, with details revealed in 2013.
The gallery is working with institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the London and British Museum.
It will also announce a major
exhibition with one of the most significant arts institutions in Europe,
initiating the first tour of works from their collection.
No regional gallery in Australia that has achieved the extraordinary successes of Bendigo Art Gallery in recent years, with 314,000 visitors through the doors last financial year.