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Best of Friends 2015: The Annual Friends of SAM Exhibition
Saturday 5 December 2015 - Sunday 17 January 2016

Every year the Friends of SAM hold a special group exhibition of artwork, across all media, created by individual members. The exhibition showcases the wealth of talent and commitment by artists of the region, and from year to year shows the growth in their practice and training as artists and crafts people. It is an opportunity for artists to share ideas, network and celebrate a life of art. All members of the Friends of SAM, including children, are invited to submit work into this popular exhibition.

Look In... Look Out! VCE Art & Studio Arts
Saturday 5 December 2015 - Sunday 17 January 2016

VCE Art and Studio Arts students are invited to submit applications for Look In... Look Out! Selected artworks will be exhibited in SAM's ground floor gallery in a six-week exhibition. Application forms will be available at from Term 3.

Image: Laura Douglas, Year 11 Studio Art, Notre Dame College

Chambre De Reflexion (one of four works) 2014

inkjet print on photographic paper, 32.9 x 48.3 cm

Serana Hunt: Dookie Behind Doors
Saturday 5 December 2015 - Sunday 17 January 2016

SAM goes local in December. Across this month each year, we'll be spotlighting the practice of a local artist with a solo exhibition - launching with photographer Serana Hunt.

Knocking on every door in her hometown of Dookie just outside Shepparton, Hunt captured a compelling series of incidental portraits - conveying the everyday lives and idiosyncrasies of the residents at home and work. Dookie Behind Doors correlates the memories of people who have made a significant impact on the town's history and identity - some now past, others vibrantly present. The project functions as a snapshot of a small country town and the documentation of an era.

Dookie Behind Doors was produced over a few months as part of Regional Arts Victoria's Small Towns Transformation event - Dookie Earthed, held in October 2014 where the photographs were projected onto silos in the town. This exhibition represents a selection of key works from that series.

To apply for a solo exhibition in SAM local 2016, please visit

Image: Serana Hunt, Joy and John 2014
C-type photograph, 53cm x 42cm
image courtesy and © the artist

Collisions: Cross-Cultural Collaborations
Saturday 21 November 2015 - Sunday 14 February 2016

Collisions: Cross-Cultural Collaborations is a community cultural development partnership between SAM and Gallery Kaiela that provides an opportunity for artists from a diverse range of backgrounds to come together and collaborate in the making of art. The project involves a number of local Indigenous artists partnering with established Melbourne-based contemporary artists, collaborating side-by-side, or in response to each other's practice. The participants include: Jack Anselmi, Eric Brown, Aunty Cynthia Hardy, Eva Ponting and Lyn Thorpe with Naomi Ota, Sangeeta Sandrasegar, Vipoo Srivilasa and Joseph L Griffiths. Through the sharing of ideas, narratives and techniques, the artists will engage in an exploration of cultural difference and similarity, conflict and connection, forging relationships in a dialogic exchange that departs from the art-making process. The outcome of these conversations and artistic investigations will be an exhibition at SAM from December 2015.

Unfolding over several months the project will be a journey - possibly demarcated by uncertainty and negotiation around ways of seeing - as the artists chart the treacherous waters of cross-cultural identity politics, intersected by the post-colonial wake. This said, the project has been aptly named, as a ‘collision' in a scientific sense is a creative act; an encounter between particles resulting in the exchange or transformation of energy. Collisions is about embracing the value found in risk and uncertainty, as experimentation is the vanguard of the new.

Funders of this project include Sir Andrew & Lady Fairley Foundation, Mr Allan Myers AO QC and the Besen Family Foundation.

Collisions: Cross-Cultural Collaborations is showing at SAM from Saturday 21 November 2015 to Sunday 14 February 2016.
Exhibition opening: Friday 27 November 6pm to 8pm

Image: Eric Brown and Vipoo Srivilasa, Untitled, 2015, porcelain and acrylic paint, dimensions variable, courtesy and © the artists


2015 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award
Saturday 22 August 2015 - Sunday 22 November 2015

The Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award has transformed into a contemporary ceramics exhibition showcasing the work of five Australian artists. Each of the five contemporary artists shortlisted for a solo exhibition at SAM and shown as one incredible showcase of current trends in contemporary practice, side by side. In a dramatic shift from previous years, one of the five artists will be awarded a $50,000 acquisitive prize, with their work entering the SAM collection.

The 2015 shortlisted artists are: Penny Byrne, Ruth Hutchinson, Sanné Mestrom, Adam John Cullen and Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran           

Please visit the Sidney Myer Fund ACA page for further information.

Cultural Program: Saturday 22 August 2015, further details can be found on our programs and events page.

SAM Out Late!: Anna Briers presents a floor talk on the exhibition on Thursday 15 October 2015, 6pm

Image: Kirsten Coelho, Toward the end of the day, 2012

porcelain, pale grey-white and iron oxide glazes on wooden table and shelf, dimensions variable

Shepparton Art Museum, 2012 Sidney Myer Fund Australia Ceramic Award, Australian Prize © the artist

The Drawing Wall #20: Jordan Marani
Saturday 25 July 2015 - Sunday 29 November 2015

Marani's work is dark but humorous, blends lowbrow culture with high art and involves personal narratives and cynical observations of the human condition. Through painting and sculpture employing bright colour, humour and word play, the artist aims to explore the funny side of the dark side.

Image: Jordan Marani, Pigs Arse 2014, acrylic paint and pencil on board, 70 x 105 cm © the artist

Greg Creek: The Desktop Drawings
Saturday 30 May 2015 - Sunday 9 August 2015

Created on modest scaled desks and yet sometimes beguiling by their incredible length, Greg Creek's drawings are reminiscent of an era, pre-desktop computers, where white collar work was fashioned by a simple land-line telephone and a quality blotting sheet. Initially trained as an architect, Creek first discovered he could draw when he began doodling in the margins of architectural studies. The doodles, becoming the focus of his work, soon took over as the prevailing subject of study, and Creek shifted his attention to art. The desktop markings of the student architect, gave rise years later, to an extraordinary drawing practise now spanning 20 years of desktop drawings, and the subject of this exhibition which brings them together for the first time.

Creek's desktop drawings overlap intimate, political, public and social subjects. They are a development from Creek's extraordinarily accomplished oil paintings, described as allegorical and with satirical undertones, his practise is often engaged with representation of the protagonists and narratives of politics of the day. However, in the desktop drawings, the address is personal, the works are memorandums of daily ‘lived in' drawings. They are the remainder of the multiple functions of their in-to-being life; a blotting pad for other paintings, a table cloth for Creek's at work dining, a note pad for his shopping lists, and an ink pad for his most sincere or ubiquitous considerations.

The Desktop Drawings map associations with a life-time of remembrances, knowing, observances and longing. The exhibition works like a junk shop of ideological symbolism whereby the act of collectivism, architecture, language, consumerism, national politics and daily life all become the one subject, a poetics of life.

This exhibition includes a new acquisition to the SAM collection, The Melbourne Desktop Drawing, 2003 which mounted under a Perspex-top, on an aluminium table 80cm in height, 40cm in depth, spans in entirety, 27 continuous metres. Commissioned for the grand hall at ACCA in 2002, the work is so long it will be rotated twice during the exhibition. The exhibition also includes a body of new political portraits and drawings commissioned specifically by SAM for The Drawing Wall.

View Part 1 and Part 2 of an interview with Greg Creek for The Desktop Drawings at SAM with Kirsten Paisley (filmed in May 2015).

The Melbourne Desktop Drawing, 2003 on show at SAM as follows:

Section 1 Saturday 30 May

Section 2 Monday 22 June

Section 3 Monday 13 July

Thanks to some very insightful technology, you can view The Melbourne Desktop Drawing digitally.

Official Opening, Saturday 30 May, combined with an artist talk

SAM Out Late! Kirsten Paisley presents a floor talk on the exhibition, Thursday 25 June 2015, 6pm


Image: Greg Creek, ChatterShapes (Mechanisms of Gardens) (detail) 2009, mixed media, text on cut paper, pins, 100 x 345 cm

Originally commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival for the 2009 Visual Arts project ‘The Enlightenments', courtesy the artist and Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne © the artist

Swamp and Drift: Brent Harris Prints from the SAM Collection
Saturday 25 April 2015 - Sunday 27 September 2015

Drawn from the SAM collection, Swamp and Drift are two suites of intaglio prints produced by Brent Harris in 2000 and 1998, generously gifted by the artist.

Characteristic of the artist's vernacular, organic drips and expressionist shapes cascade down the page, generating an anthropomorphic response in the viewer. Harris' amorphic forms propel the imagination; the works in Swamp resemble some kind of primordial ooze, evocative of the creature from the black lagoon or the shadow that lurks beneath your bed. In Drift, sea voyages and shipwrecks are explored as metaphors for life's journey.

These gestures evidence a consistent motif across the artist's oeuvre where unconscious forces and various states of human experience are refined into a curvaceous, graphic sensibility. With a career spanning 30 years that traverses the mediums of painting, drawing and printmaking, Harris' ability to retain an artistic practice that is consistently self-reflective and transformative has cemented his place within the history of Australian art.

Image: Brent Harris, Swamp no 1, 2000, intaglio print on paper, 59.5 x 30.2 cm

Shepparton Art Museum, donated through the Australian Cultural Gifts Program by the artist, 2013 © the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne

Dream Machines: Drawings of the Great American Automobile
Saturday 7 March 2015 - Sunday 17 May 2015

Car design of the post-war era was characterized by a futuristic zeal that reflected the economic optimism of the period. Space exploration, developments in aviation and an appetite for science fiction informed the popular imagination, driving the work of visual artists employed to design the cars of the future.

In 1945, as World War II was coming to an end, car production resumed and automotive companies sought to capture this enthusiasm. They encouraged their designers to produce drawings known as ‘dream cars,' in order to explore new technical features and aesthetic possibilities.

The sleek, aerodynamic vehicles conveyed in this exhibition capture the spirit of the age; pivoting around the nuclear family unit and the ownership of a house and car - the American Dream.

Dream Machines: Drawings of the Great American Automobile presents 130 drawings from the great age of American car design, shown for the first time in Australia from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Dream Machines: The Cars, at the Shepparton Motor Museum

To coincide with SAM's exhibition, the Shepparton Motor Museum presents a show of superb examples of the American vehicles depicted in the drawings.

Both exhibitions will be ticketed, with dual entry available.

Dream Machines Street Party and Motor Show, Saturday 14 March 2015

SAM Out Late! April, Dream Machines with Anna Briers, SAM Senior Curator, and local car enthusiasts, Thursday 17 April 2015, 6pm

Check back for further information in February 2015.

Image: Charles H. Stewart, Cadillac Coupe de Ville concept drawing (detail) 1965, pencil, magic marker, and ink on vellum paper, 53.3 x 68.6 cm

Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection, image courtesy and © the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Drawing Wall #18: Lee Ward
Saturday 14 February 2015 - Wednesday 1 July 2015

Lee Ward has worked in various guises as an artist since graduating in Fine Art from RMIT in the early 1990s. He has exhibited in a range of group exhibitions, worked as an art teacher for adults with disabilities and as an illustrator in post-war-torn Sri Lanka. A passionate vintage car enthusiast Lee has been commissioned to produce a work for the Drawing Wall in direct response to the drawings on display in the exhibition Dream Machines. His drawings show the vehicles, at the other end of their imagined lives, dinted, bumped and scratched up as hypothetical back-yard bombs. 



Showcase 2015
Saturday 7 February 2015 - Monday 1 February 2016

SAM's Showcase presents four solo exhibitions of new works by ceramic masters in the glass display of SAM's entry. Curated for a second year by longtime gallerist Anna Maas, Showcase 2015 is focused on the work of four extremely accomplished ceramic artists who are each represented within the SAM collection. It provides a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire their own master work as all pieces are available for purchase.

Showcase #5: Greg Daly

Saturday 7 February - Sunday 26 April 2015

Showcase #6: Owen Rye

Saturday 2 May - Sunday 2 August 2015

Showcase #7: Vipoo Srivilsa

Saturday 8 August - Sunday 1 November 2015

Showcase #8: Janet De Boos

Saturday 7 November - Sunday 1 February 2016


Image: Greg Daly, Clear Skies - Tall Bowl 2014

lustre glazed ceramic, 22 x 20 cm

image courtesy and © the artist

Saturday 31 January 2015 - Sunday 13 December 2015

Stephen Benwell and Deborah Halpern are ceramic artists who were particularly celebrated and prolific throughout the 1990's, and who continue to make work and exhibit today. Uniquely, the Shepparton Art Museum has collected each artists' work consistently throughout their careers, enabling this spotlighted showcase.

As a counterpoint, emerging Melbourne-based fashion designer Rafaella McDonald has produced an integrated exhibition design in response to elements in the ceramists' visual lexicon. Referencing the vibrant colouration and strong patterning, McDonald's approach affirms the pervasive 90's influence on contemporary fashion and visual culture, reinvigorating the collection by setting up new conversations and juxtapositions.

Image: Stephen Benwell, Vase (detail) 1994

glazed earthenware with underglaze, 52.5 x 35 x 24 cm

Shepparton Art Museum, Sidney Myer Fund Australia Day Invitation Ceramic Award, 1995 © the artist

Best of Friends
Friday 12 December 2014 - Sunday 11 January 2015

Every year the talents of the Friends of SAM are celebrated with a special group exhibition. Bringing together Friends who work in a range of media, including painting, drawing, textiles, sculpture and design, Best of Friends showcases the strength, diversity and commitment of local artists.

The Rennie Ellis Show: A travelling exhibition presented by the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive and Monash Gallery of Art
Friday 12 December 2014 - Sunday 22 February 2015

The photographer Rennie Ellis (1940-2003) is a key figure in Australian visual culture. Ellis is best remembered for his effervescent observations of Australian life exemplified in his now iconic book Life is a beach. Although invariably inflected with his own personality and wit, the thousands of social documentary photographs taken by Ellis now form an important historical record.

The Rennie Ellis Show highlights some of the defining images of Australian life from the 1970s and ‘80s. This is the period of Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser; Paul Keating and Bob Hawke; AC/DC and punk rock; cheap petrol and coconut oil; Hari Krishnas and Hookers and Deviant balls.

This exhibition of over 100 photographs provides a personal account of what Ellis termed ‘a great period of change'. The photographs explore the cultures and subcultures of the period, and provide a strong sense of a place that now seems a world away; a world free of risk, of affordable inner city housing, of social protest, of disco and pub rock, of youth and exuberance.

This exhibition is proudly provided by:

Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive
Monash Gallery of Art (MGA)
City of Monash, Arts Victoria
Bowness Family Foundation
Fujifilm Professional
Hardie Grant Books
CPL Digital

Image: Rennie Ellis, Mr Muscleman, Albert Park Beach (detail) c. 1986
chromogenic print, 26.7 x 40.7 cm
courtesy of the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive




Cutting Edge: An Exhibition of Contemporary Lino and Woodblock Prints
Saturday 22 November 2014 - Sunday 18 January 2015

Evolved from a series of highly successful printmaking workshops co-ordinated by SAM, Cutting Edge showcases the work of 16 established and emerging artists, some new to the medium of printmaking.

‘The development of this exhibition provided an excellent opportunity for people from different regions and artistic backgrounds to come together in a social and creative capacity; learning from each other and sharing ideas, skills and techniques,' SAM Visual Arts Educator Rhonda Chrisanthou said.

Workshop leaders and established printmakers, Heather Shimmen and Ema Shin, inspired local artists to continue developing and experimenting with their lino and woodcut techniques. This exhibition is a result of multiple expressions of interest to exhibit the work at SAM.

Featuring work by artists from Northern Victoria and New South Wales, each artist's unique talents and creative approach can be seen in the broad range of subject matter and techniques on display; including works on fabric, inkjet prints, mixed media and embroidery.

The prints in this exhibition are available for sale through the SAM shop, with unframed prints also available for purchase.

Image: Heather Shimmen, Lost I 2008, linocut on felt, 51 cm diam., edition of 10.

The Drawing Wall #17: Linda Botham
Friday 14 November 2014 - Sunday 1 February 2015

Shepparton-based artist Linda Botham uses charcoal and pencil to produce elaborate, free-wheeling drawings that speak of the complexity and beauty of the human condition. Her work for The Drawing Wall #17 combines the artist's ongoing fascination with the skeletal structure of birds with a simple sculptural form.

Morning Tea with Linda Botham
Wednesday 12 November, 10am @ SAM

RSVP this this informal event by phoning (03) 5832 9861.

Showcase 2014
Friday 7 February 2014 - Tuesday 27 January 2015

Showcase 2014 presents four mini solo exhibitions of emerging Australian ceramic artists in SAM's front entrance display. Curated by longstanding gallerist Anna Maas, this project aims to provide audiences with an opportunity to purchase their very own collection quality artwork and to provide a platform for solo exhibitions by Australia's next generation of master ceramic artists.

Showcase #1: Tania Rollond
Friday 7 February - Sunday 27 April 2014


Showcase #2: Amy Kennedy
Saturday 3 May - Sunday 27 July 2014

Showcase #3: Tim Clarkson
Friday 8 August - Sunday 2 November 2014

Showcase #4: Dean Smith
Friday 14 November - Sunday 1 February 2015

Image: Tania Rollond, Layering the puzzle 2009
porcelain with ceramic pencil and oxides, 20 x 14 x 14 cm
image courtesy the artist © the artist