The peak body protecting and promoting the Australian visual arts sector

Industry News October

Latest industry news from the visual and media arts, craft and design sector, October 2018.

In the News

The Namatjira Family recently reached a settlement with the Northern Territory Government in a gesture that acknowledges decades of injustice and lost income. The settlement took place in August, and as of now all distributions have been made.

In Awards and Prizes

Melbourne-based artists, Vanessa Kelly has been awarded the $20,000  John Leslie Art Prize for her painting Wyatt Brothers Chicory Kiln, Corinella Gippsland.  The $1000 non-acquisitive prize for Best Gippsland Work was awarded to Andrea Sinclair for Bonfire at Yarragon South.


Sydney artist, Akil Ahamat has been awarded the $10,000 John Fries Award for his video and installation work So the spaces between us can stay soft. The judges also highly commend Rachael Mipantjiti Lionel from South Australia for her work Kapi Wankanya.


The University of South Australia has announced Elyas Alavi (SA) and Georgia Saxelby (NSW) as the recipients of the 2019 Samstag Scholarships, a twelve-month living allowance of US $48,000. 


Ten NSW artists have been shortlisted for this year’s prestigious $30,000 Create NSW & Artspace NSW Visual Arts Fellowship. The shortlist is Kieran Butler, EO Gill, Biljana Jancic, Shivanjani Lal, JD Reforma, Marikit Santiago, Georgia Saxelby, Shireen Taweel, Kai Wasikowski and Jodie Whalen.


Proceeds from artist, Katthy Cavaliere's estate have gone to make 3 one-off grants of $100,000 for women, awarded to artists or collectives to create a new artwork to be presented as a public exhibition held in 2020 at Melbourne's Australian Centre of Contemporary Art, Sydney's Carriageworks and Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art.


The NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize has announced Hornsby artist Wei Bin (Jeffrey) Chen as the winner of the 11th annual Prize. Chen took out the $20,000 prize from a field of 47 finalists.


The Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, presented by Woollahra Council, has announced New-York based, Sydney-born artist Tim Silver as the winner of the acquisitive $20,000 Prize for his work, Untitled (When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d 02). Sydney-artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran was awarded the Special Commendation award valued at $2,000 with WA/Victorian-based artist Danielle Freakley receiving a special mention. The 2018 Mayor's Award valued at $1,000 has been awarded to Lucinda Kirby.


The Incinerator Art Award winners were announced. The winners are: Nina Sanadze receiving the $10,000 Boathouse Award for her artwork, The Divide, 2018, and Mia Salsjö, who receives the $3,000 Incinerator Gallery Award for her digital video, Modes of Translation, 2017. The panel of judges also highly commended Amala Groom for her work, Does she know the revolution is coming?


Photographer Tamara Dean has been awarded the $25,000 Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert photography award 2018 for her work, Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) in Autumn from the series In our Nature 2017.


The $50,000 2018 Evelyn Chapman Art Award finalists are: Fabrizio Biviano (VIC), Bridget Dolan (NSW), Frances Feasy (NSW), Amanda Marburg (VIC), Kate Stevens (NSW), Lilli Stromland (NSW), Liz Stute (VIC).


The 30 finalists for The 2018 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize has been announced. Each finalist is guaranteed a $1,000 prize with one artist to take out the winning prize of $150,000. Read full list here


The finalists for the $50,000 2018 Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award have been announced. Sally Ryan (NSW); Kim Leutwyler (NSW); Melissa Ritchie (NSW); Lucy Culliton (NSW); Jess Mara (SA)Claire Bridge (VIC); Carla Fletcher (VIC); Kerry McInnis (NSW); Lisa Axiotis (VIC); Bronwyn Hill (QLD); Ellie Kammer (SA); Genevieve Gadd (VIC); Christine Wrest Smith (VIC); Marie Mansfield (NSW); Matteo Bernasconi (NSW); Adoni Astrinakis (VIC); Nick Stathopoulos (NSW); Peter Smeeth (NSW); Ross Potter (WA); Phil James (NSW); Geoff Lonergan (NSW); Sean Hutton (NSW); Kevin Goldenbrut (VIC); Joseph O’Gara (NSW); Warren Crossett (VIC); Mathew Lynn (NSW); Alun Rhys Jones  (NSW); Tim Moorhead (NSW); Ross Townsend (ACT); Marcus Callum (NSW); Todd Simpson (VIC); Julian Aubrey Smith (VIC) ; Tsering Hannaford (SA); Bethany Thurtell (NSW), and Daevid Anderson (WA).


The Ian Potter Museum of Art has announced  Dr Jane Eckett as the recipient of the Ursula Hoff Fellowship for 2018.

In Organisations

The Australia Council for the Arts announced the appointment of Adrian Collette AM as its incoming Chief Executive Officer. NAVA looks forward to working closely with Adrian towards an Australian arts sector that’s ambitious and fair.


The Board of Craft Victoria announces the appointment of Peter Selinger to the position of Strategic Director. Previously, he held roles such as Director of the Chinese Museum, Melbourne, and Head of Commercial and Visitor Services at ACMI.


The Board of Accessible Arts has announced Kerry Comerford as the organisation’s CEO to follow in the steps of Scott O’Hara who has relocated to the UK for family reasons. Since 2016, she has worked as an independent producer and consultant and is currently Director of Hayes Theatre, Sydney; Circa, Brisbane; and, Destination Sydney Surrounds North, part of the Destination NSW regional tourism network.


Eddie Bernard has retired from Board Chair of CERF+ after 2 years in the position to be replaced by Reed McMillan.

In Galleries

Karen Quinlan has been appointed the Director of the National Portrait Gallery after 18 years as the Director of the Bendigo Art Gallery. She will be replacing Angus Trumble, the outgoing Director.


Kate Moskwa has been appointed the new CEO of SALA Festival after the resignation of current CEO Penny Griggs. Kate is currently the Festival Program Manager and has been with SALA since 2014, prior to that she worked for Adelaide Fringe.


The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) has announced that artist Patricia Piccinini will be joining its board.


Bundanon Trust has announced Sarah Smith as the organisation's new head of marketing and communication.


Wagga Wagga Art Gallery has announced the appointment of Caroline Geraghty as the new director. Caroline has joined the Gallery directly from her role as Exhibition Manager with the Biennale of Sydney, where she worked on the 2016 and 2018 editions.


Montsalvat today announced the appointment of a new Executive Director, Dr Jacqueline Ogeil. Dr Ogeil is the Founder/director of the Woodend Winter Arts Festival, the inaugural Director of Duneira and the Founder/Director of the ARIA finalist baroque ensemble Accademia Arcadia.


Georgia Hobbs has been appointed the new General Manager of Firstdraft in Sydney. She comes with an in-depth knowledge of Firstdraft having served on the Board of Directors since 2017. Prior to this Georgia worked as Art Consultant at Artbank; Assistant Curator at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and was the Gallery Manager of Darren Knight Gallery for four years from 2013-2017. 


Briar Holt has been appointed the Gallery Manager of Fox Galleries in Collingwood. She has previously worked at fortyfivedownstairs, The Blue Oyster Art Project Space, and Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

In Festivals

Festival Director Wesley Enoch launched his third Sydney Festival program on Wednesday. The festival runs from 9–27 January 2019, with three key themes informing the program: migration, at a time when the world faces the largest movement of refugees since WWII; human endeavour, exemplified by our landing on the moon 50 years ago when the Earth was potentially facing mutual destruction; and the feminist movement that was rekindled by the #metoo and #timesup campaigns.