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Applications for SAM’s 2015 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award Open 30 January

Entries for Shepparton Art Museum’s 2015 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award (ACA) will open online at this Friday 30 January 2015, with a $50,000 prize awarded to one of five shortlisted Australian artists.

Entries for Shepparton Art Museum's 2015 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award (ACA) will open online at this Friday 30 January 2015, with a $50,000 prize awarded to one of five shortlisted Australian artists.

Director Kirsten Paisley stated:

"We are grateful to the Sidney Myer Fund who have significantly increased their support for the Award, and enabled the SMFACA to develop into an incredible opportunity for Australian artists. With $50,000 in prize money, the SMFACA cements its place as the premier Australian acquisitive ceramic art award. Following on from the successful 2012 Award which featured outstanding exhibitions by Kirsten Coelho, Alexandra Standen and Michal Fargo, the SMFACA continues to be at the leading edge of presenting contemporary ceramic practice."

With the hindsight of hosting ten international awards in its previous guise, the Art Museum has made a number of significant changes. These changes are intended to provide better career development opportunities for Australian artists, more strategic collecting for the Art Museum, and a greater depth to the exhibition for visitors and associated publishing.

There will be five recipients of the Award, each of whom will receive a $2,000 stipend to produce a body of work for exhibition. Costs associated with the exhibition will be borne by the Art Museum, including freight and the production of a fully illustrated catalogue. The Art Museum will also pay airfares and accommodation for recipient artists to attend the opening event and present at the associated seminar weekend on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 August 2015. Moreover artists will work with the support of curatorial staff at SAM throughout the planning of their exhibitions.

There will be four months between the announcement of award recipients and the delivery of works to SAM. One of the five shortlisted artists will be awarded a $50,000 acquisitive cash prize, and their work will enter the SAM collection. The prize winning work, and any other special acquisitions to the SAM collection, will be announced at the official opening on Saturday 22 August 2015.

The Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award has offered Australian audiences the opportunity to view the best contemporary ceramic art for over 10 years. The supporting seminar and master-class workshops provide a unique platform for cross-cultural learning and exchange.

Applications open Friday 30 January 2015
Applications close Friday 20 March 2015, 4pm EST
Artists advised of selection Friday 3 April 2015 (4 months to installation)
Exhibition Opening, prize announcement Saturday 22 August 2015
Seminar and workshops Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 August 2015
Exhibition Dates Saturday 22 August to Sunday 22 November 2015
Artworks dispatched for return to artists December 2015

For further information on how to apply, full terms and conditions and a history of the Award, please click here. All applications for the Award are to be completed online by Friday 20 March 2015, 4pm EST.

Shepparton Art Museum is a Greater Shepparton City Council facility. The 2015 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award is presented with thanks to the following sponsors:

Sidney Myer Fund, Arts Victoria and Greater Shepparton City Council.



SAM’s Year of Art Unveiled

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) is proud to launch its 2015 Annual Exhibition Program and February–June SAM Program Newspaper this week. Showcasing the sensational year ahead, the 2015 Annual Exhibition Program outlines the temporary exhibitions, Drawing Wall projects, collection displays and touring exhibitions showing at SAM in 2015. The February–June SAM Program Newspaper outlines the workshops, events and education initiatives happening at SAM during the first half of the year.


SAM Director Kirsten Paisley stated:

"The 2015 year at SAM is shaping up to be great fun, with wide-ranging appeal and plenty to get excited about. It is a year of new art, new commissions, new exhibitions and loads of opportunities to run, ride, or drive to SAM."

Following a summer holiday program of art-making, SAM will commence 2015 with the annual school exhibitions for the Goulburn Valley region, The Art Room (for primary schools) and Self/Expression (for secondary schools).  

In its fifth year and 18th layer of paint, the Drawing Wall #18 in February will feature a new work by Melbourne-based artist Lee Ward on the 4 x 12 metre wall in the Eastbank Centre, next door to the Art Museum.

SAM's major touring exhibition of the year, Dream Machines: Drawings of the Great American Automobile will see 130 concept drawings from the great age of American car design from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, shown for the first time in Australia. Fittingly, the Shepparton Motor Museum will present a coinciding exhibition of the actual American vehicles depicted in the drawings over the same period.

Benwell/Halpern will showcase just over a dozen works from SAM's collection by Stephen Benwell and Deborah Halpern, and excitingly, an exhibition design response by Melbourne-based fashion designer / artist Rafaella McDonald.

Also drawn from the SAM collection, Swamp and Drift will be shown from April, featuring two suites of intaglio prints produced by Brent Harris in 2000 and 1998, generously gifted by the artist in 2013.

Greg Creek: The Desktop Drawings will showcase a life-time of remembrances, knowing, observances and longing in Creek's modest scale desktop drawings that will fill the downstairs galleries from late May to early August. Creek will also create a body of new political portraits and drawings specifically for the Drawing Wall #19.

The successful first of SAM's Showcase cabinet was held in 2014, and this initiative continues into 2015 with ceramic masters' works presented as a series of four mini exhibitions in the entrance to the SAM Shop. Beginning with artist Greg Daly, and followed by Owen Rye, Vipoo Srivilsa and Janet De Boos, the series of exhibitions provides visitors and collectors with a unique opportunity to acquire their own master work by four extremely accomplished ceramic artists represented in the SAM collection. Each work will be available for sale through the SAM gift shop.

The ninth Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award (ACA) will be presented in August 2015, and is set to be the strongest exhibition to date. This year, the ACA will see a $50,000 prize awarded to one of five shortlisted artists presenting in the space. Applications for the 2015 Sidney Myer Fund ACA will open on 30 January 2015.

Jordan Marani will cover The Drawing Wall #20. It will be a cheeky but colourful painting in September.

Concluding the 2015 year of great art at SAM is The Drawing Wall #21 by a remarkable local artist, originally from the UK, Mimi Leung, who will present a ‘colour-me-in' pop mural. This work will coincide with the opening of Best of Friends 2015, the Friends of SAM annual exhibition in December, extending SAM's celebration of local talent with works by members of the Friends of SAM. Alongside Best of Friends, SAM will present the outcome of a partnership project with Gallery Kaiela, Collisions: Cross-Cultural Artist Collaborations which will see a number of local Aboriginal artists partnering with established contemporary artists from outside the region, collaborating side by side, or in response to each other's practice.  

In accordance with these many exhibitions and projects, 2015 brings a continuous abundance of considered public programming and educational links, for means to engage with the artists, the artworks and the artistic culture of the region, our country and the world. Re-occurring popular programs include Rainbow Kids: Art for Small Hands, SAM's four School Holiday Programs, the SAM Art Passport, designed to encourage children and families to learn about the artworks through self-guided tours, professional development workshops and talks for teachers and students, artist/staff talks for adults, and more. For Feb-June in particular, the Dream Machines exhibition and public program inspired by these works will allow for a wider discovery of design and enthuse many participants to become draftsmen. 

To view SAM's 2015 Annual Exhibition Program:

Hard copies are available at the SAM Shop (70 Welsford Street, Shepparton).

Regional Victorian Schools Show at SAM

Shepparton Art Museum’s end-of-year school art exhibitions for 2014, Self/Expression and The Art Room, will open this Friday 23 January. The official launch and celebratory evening event is scheduled for Friday 30 January when students and teachers are back for the new school year.

Shepparton Art Museum's end-of-year school art exhibitions for 2014, Self/Expression and The Art Room, will open this Friday 23 January. The official launch and celebratory evening event is scheduled for Friday 30 January when students and teachers are back for the new school year.

The exhibitions highlight the achievements of students who participate in visual art courses in both primary and secondary schools from across the Goulburn Valley region. Both exhibitions highlight skill and creativity in approaches to art-making as well as confidence and sensitivity with regards to subject matter and in communicating ideas about the world and experiences of it.

‘Shortlisted artworks for Self/Expression present the best Year 11 and Year 12 artwork by students completing VCE Studio Arts and VCE Art in this region,' SAM Visual Arts Educator Rhonda Chrisanthou said. ‘There were 36 students from both Year 11 and 12 who submitted applications for Self/Expression. Fourteen students were shortlisted from a very large field. Selected artwork includes a number of photographic images and installation works that range in themes, approaches and reflect social and personal concerns.' Artwork by senior students will be displayed in SAM's Crawford Stewart Gallery.

Secondary schools represented in Self/Expression include: Cobram Secondary College, Dookie College, Goulburn Valley Grammar School, McGuire College, Mooroopna Secondary College, Notre Dame College, Rushworth P-12 College, Shepparton Christian College, Shepparton High School, St Augustine's College Kyabram and Wanganui Park Secondary College.

Eight primary schools submitted expressions of interest for The Art Room. Teachers were invited to select their own shortlist and have assisted in the presenting artwork for display in the Eastbank Centre Foyer. The display features artworks by students from Year 1 through to Year 10. Classwork is highly varied and includes mixed media, drawing and painting and presents an array of subjects, themes and approaches to art-making.

Schools represented in The Art Room include: Cobram Secondary College, Euroa Primary School Goulburn Valley Grammar School, Guthrie Street Primary School, Kialla West Primary school, McGuire College, Notre Dame College, Numurkah Secondary College and Numurkah Primary School.

Self/Expression and The Art Room will be on display from Friday 23 January to Sunday 22 February and will be accompanied by The Rennie Ellis Show, currently showing. Entry is free. SAM is open 7 days from 10am to 4pm (public holidays 1pm to 4pm).

The exhibition will be officially opened by Drew Pettifer, lecturer in Art History RMIT, contemporary artist and freelance curator, on Friday 30 January 2015 at 6pm. To RSVP, please phone (03) 5832 9861 by Thursday 29 January.

Shepparton Art Museum is proudly provided by Greater Shepparton City Council, located at 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton. For general SAM enquiries and bookings please contact: (03) 5832 9861, email, or visit for more information.

Image: Jayden Scrivens (McGuire College / Mooroopna Secondary College) Mankind Versus Mother Nature (detail) 2014
digital inkjet print on canvas, 150 x 30 cm © the artist

Dream Machines Come to Shepparton

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) is delighted to announce its major exhibition and Australian exclusive for March 2015, Dream Machines: Drawings of the Great American Automobile.

Dream Machines: Drawings of the Great American Automobile presents 130 drawings from the great age of American car design from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. This will be the first major exhibition of original American car designs from the 1950's, 60's, and early 70's and one of the largest ever held. None of the works in Dream Machines have previously been seen in Australia.

Not only will visitors to Shepparton be able to see the original design sketches of post war American cars, but they will also be able to see up to 25 of the actual concept cars represented in the exhibition. To coincide with the exhibition at SAM, the Shepparton Motor Museum will present an exhibition of superb examples of vehicles depicted in the drawings, titled Dream Machines: The Cars. Both exhibitions will run con-currently and be co-ticketed, with an opening party and Show ‘n' Shine parade between the two venues on Saturday 14 March.  

Car design of the post-war era was characterised 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, fuelling 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, encouraging 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.

SAM Director, Kirsten Paisley said:

‘This exhibition is an opportunity for visitors to see (for the first time) the original drawings from which American cars were first imagined, and through SAM's exciting partnership with the Shepparton Motor Museum view the vehicles themselves. Working with the Shepparton Motor Museum has been a wonderful collision of two worlds, with the Art Museum and the Car Museum celebrating the incredible draftmanship and creativity of the designers and an era of extreme optimism and excitement for the future.'

Greater Shepparton Mayor, Dennis Patterson said:

‘I think it's great that SAM is doing this exhibition in combining two very detached worlds of cars and art. These drawings remind you of what life was like in the 50s… The optimism that followed World War II and influence of American culture on Australians was huge. People in regional towns like Shepparton took up the passenger vehicle with great enjoyment due to our geographical location – our desire for road trips and liking for being rev heads certainly increased! I remember distinctly pulling up on the side of a road to listen to the 1962 AFL grand final, being in a friends family Dodge, and it was all about the car, the footy and the country road.'

The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive public program of themed artistic workshops, tutorials, talks, tours and special events, including an opening launch party at SAM and Show ‘n' Shine at the Shepparton Motor Museum along with other festivities, on Saturday 14 March 2015.

Dream Machines: Drawings of the Great American Automobile and Dream Machines: The Cars will both be on display from 7 March until 17 May 2015. The exhibitions will be ticketed, with dual-ticketing available.

Shepparton Art Museum is proudly provided by Greater Shepparton City Council, located at 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton. For general SAM enquiries and bookings please contact: (03) 5832 9861, email, or visit for more information.

Image: Robert S. Ackerman, Chrysler Front End Design Proposal – Red Sedan, June 22, 1971. Paper with magic marker, ink, 53.3 x 68.6 cm, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection, image courtesy and © 2015 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.