The peak body protecting and promoting the Australian visual arts sector

Wired In: April 2017

Find out the latest of who's coming and going in the arts.

In Public

Susan Cohn has been named as a recipient of the prestigious Australia Council Visual Arts Award. Cohn is an artist, jeweller, designer and curator based in Melbourne. She works across the art-craft-design divide using a variety of media from jewellery to installation, photography and video. Her work explores the typology of jewellery and the different terms on which it is valued. Cohn has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally, and her work is held in major public and private collections. Cohn’s broad understanding of making and design has also enabled her to work as a designer for Alessi, as a curator for the Design Museum, London and as editor/writer for Rizzoli International Publications, New York. Cohn is the current artist trustee at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and she is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne.

In Government

On 18 March 2017, the Arts Minister, Mitch Fifield announced that there will be partial return of funds from the Catalyst Fund to the Australia Council. Read more.

A new group has formed called ‘Labor for the Arts’ supporting arts, culture and entertainment. It was formally launched on 14th March by the Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke followed by a panel with industry leaders discussing how can the arts sector better embrace cultural diversity and move ‘multicultural arts’ into the mainstream.

Following Labor’s winning government in WA the new Minister for Heritage, the Arts and Culture has been announced as David Templeman taking over from John Day. Templeman has held his south-western seat of Mandurah for 16 years and has also been appointed Leader of the House. In previous Labor governments he has served as Minister for Community Development, Minister for Seniors and Volunteering, and Minister for Youth. Before entering politics, Templeman worked as a primary school teacher. He also served on the Mandurah City Council between 1994 and 2001, including as deputy mayor from 1997.

New legislation reforming the governance of the cultural and creative industries in Tasmania, the Cultural and Creative Industries Bill 2017, has been released and public comment welcomed. The Bill will repeal and replace the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board Act 1975 and disband the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board and Screen Tasmania Advisory Board effective from 1 January 2018. Click here to download and review the Cultural and Creative Industries Bill 2017. Public comments close Friday 31 March 2017 at 5:00 pm and can be emailed to

In Galleries

After more than 25 years, Stills Gallery in Paddington Sydney will cease operation in its current form at the end of June this year. However, the gallery space will remain and discussions are in progress regarding the shape and scope of a new entity that will occupy it. From small beginnings in Elizabeth St Paddington in 1991, the gallery has shifted and evolved to keep up with changes in the way that photography is produced and understood. The gallery has represented some of Australia’s best photographic artists both in Australia and overseas. A final group exhibition will take place from May to June.

PVI Collective has moved to new premises and though sad to say goodbye to their much loved cia studios and the community it housed, they are settling in to their new space at 24 Brisbane St, Perth. It has a studio, offices, a play-space workshop, a store room and kitchen.

Tamsen Hopkinson (Ngati Kahungunu ki te Wairoa) is leaving her role as Program Manager of West Space, Melbourne after 6 years.

Lyn Johnson has resigned as Deputy Director at McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery, Melbourne and her last day in the role is 22 March.

John Petersen has resigned from his position as Director of Duldig Studio to undertake consultancy work. Gina Panebianco, Duldig Studio's Vice President, will step into the role as Interim Director. The Duldig Studio is the former home, sculpture garden and artists' studio of the internationally acclaimed sculptor Karl Duldig and his wife Slawa Duldig in Melbourne.

Feyza Yazar has recently been appointed to the position of Cultural Development Public Programs Officer at Shepparton Art Museum.

In Organisations

Following their loss of Australia Council funding, Contemporary Arts SA and the Australian Experimental Arts Foundation in Adelaide have amalgamated to form ACE Open: South Australia’s new contemporary art organisation. Liz Nowell has been appointed CEO and team includes Curator Toby Chapman, who was most recently the Creative Producer at Information & Cultural Exchange (ICE) in Parramatta, NSW; Business and Operations Manager, Sarita Burnett; Public Programs Coordinator and Weekend Gallery Manager, Vivian Cooper and Marketing and Communications Manager, Stephanie Lyall.

PICA has announced that Robyn Glindemann, Projects Counsel with Clifford Chance, avid arts supporter and PICA board member since 2014, has been appointment as their new Chair. They farewell Tony Chong, PICA's Chair of five years and a PICA Board Member since 2008. PICA also welcomes two new staff members: Caris Harper as their new Business Manager and Tim Carter takes on the mantle of PICA Producer. Kira Rikkers will also soon join PICA as Communications Manager.

Helen Cook has been appointed as a member of the Council of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) for a three-year term. Cook’s experience and background in the arts, marketing and finance sectors make her a strong addition to the Council. She is currently the Chairman of the Chamber of Arts and Culture Western Australia and Deputy Chair of Fremantle Ports. Cook is also a non-Executive Director of the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia and serves on a range of boards, including the Australia Council’s Major Performing Arts Panel and the Cruthers Art Foundation.

Bibi Barba
has joined Arts Law as its Artists in the Black (AITB) coordinator. Bibi is a well known artist, with her practice inspired by her Grandmother’s storytelling and her love of the land. She will coordinate the AITB program along with Artists in the Black administration coordinator Lee Elsdon. Delwyn Everard has resigned from her position as Deputy Director at the Arts Law Centre of Australia after 10 years. As well as managing Arts Law’s legal services, Delwyn played a large role in developing the Artists in the Black program and mentoring all members of the legal team, including volunteers and interns. As a close friend of NAVA's, she will be greatly missed.

Regional Arts Victoria have announced a renewed strategic direction for the organisation, with a strong focus on Partnerships, Programming and Projects. To accommodate this new framework, an internal restructure has created three new Director roles and one Executive Director role as the organisation’s new CEO. As of 27 February 2017, Regional Arts Victoria’s new head is Joe Toohey as Executive Director. Liz Zito, Regional Arts Victoria’s Cultural Partnerships Manager since 2012, takes on the new role of Director of Partnerships. Justin Murphy, Regional Arts Victoria’s Performing Arts Touring manager since 2015, takes on the new role of Director of Programming. Esther Anatolitis, Regional Arts Victoria’s Director since 2012, takes on the new role of Director of Projects.

Inside NAVA

NAVA warmly welcomes Sophie Chapman as its new Queensland Program Co-ordinator. Sophie is project manager and curator, and is also currently working as an Exhibitions Officer for Logan Art Gallery.

We also welcome our new relationship with ARTICULATE who will assist NAVA with PR and brand awareness.


Adelaide-born painter Sydney Ball, who became a master of abstract impressionism, has died aged 83. Ball worked as an architectural draughtsman before striking out as an artist in the late 1950s. He studied at South Australia’s School of Art then moved to New York in the 1960s where he was exposed to the abstract impressionist movement. In 1968 his work featured in the seminal Field Exhibition shown in Melbourne, the first Australian exhibition of abstract art. Ball’s paintings were included in numerous group exhibitions and can be found in the National Gallery of Australia collection, as well as all state and many Australian university collections. Many of Ball's significant works have been donated to the Samstag Museum of Art at the University of South Australia whose collection covers more than 50 years of the artist's paintings and drawings. The gallery is considering mounting a special exhibition to honour his legacy.

Artist and academic Dr Leslie Morgan has died after a long battle with cancer. His work dealt with race, diaspora, migration and whiteness, his paintings depicting the entry of Anglo-Indians into Australia in 1947 at a time of the White Australia Policy. His doctoral thesis, ‘The Significance of Diaspora Politics in the Visual Arts’ drew largely on 1980s Black British cultural politics. The funeral service is being held in Melbourne on Friday 31 March 2017.

The Australian's editorial cartoonist, Bill Leak has died aged 61 of a heart attack. He often created controversy in Australia and overseas, most recently sparking a complaint to the Human Rights Commission under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. He worked as a professional cartoonist first with The Bulletin, then The Sydney Morning Herald, later moving to The Daily Telegraph and finally for over twenty years he worked at The Australian.