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Open 6 days (closed Tuesdays). Weekdays: 10am to 4pm. Weekends: 10am to 5pm. Elsewhere at SAM café: 8am to 4pm.

New SAM Director appointed

Greater Shepparton City Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Rebecca Coates in the role of Director SAM.

Dr Coates has been in the role of Acting Director since August 2015 and replaced Kirsten Paisley who left SAM to work for the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

Dr Coates is eminently qualified for the role as an established curator, writer and lecturer, with over 20 years professional art museum and gallery experience in both Australia and overseas. She is also a Lecturer at the University of Melbourne in Art History and Art Curatorship and has a PhD in Art History.

Her work history includes her current role as Associate Curator of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art; Curator, Visual Arts Program, Melbourne International Arts Festival; Touring Exhibitions Organiser, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; Program Coordinator, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and Curatorial Assistant, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.

Dr Coates has curated numerous exhibitions, and edited and contributed to exhibition publications. She speaks and writes regularly on contemporary art and theory, curatorial practice, and art in the public realm, and has contributed to a number of art magazines and journals including Art & Australia, Eyeline, Art World, Art Monthly Australia, un magazine, Broadsheet and refereed academic journals.

She is also a member of several advisory boards and has experience working with philanthropic, business and government sectors and on panels and public forums. Dr Coates was a judge for the 2015 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award and has extensive knowledge of Australia art and in marketing and management within the art sector.

Dr Coates is pleased to continue in the Director position at SAM. “It’s a great institution, with a strong team of staff and supporters. SAM has presented a really interesting and dynamic series of contemporary and historic exhibitions over the last number of years,” said Dr Coates. 

“SAM is at an exciting point in its development. It’s known for its collection focus on ceramics, and has exciting plans for a new building. This is a significant opportunity to continue to work with the Greater Shepparton community to ensure SAM’s central place and role in this region. I look forward to continuing to work with the SAM staff and Council at this dynamic point in SAM’s development.”

Greater Shepparton City Council Director Community, Kaye Thomson said SAM and Council are honoured to have Dr Coates take on the role. “To attract someone with Rebecca’s experience and knowledge is a coup for the museum. We look forward to Rebecca’s continued input and guidance for the future as we prepare for a new SAM,” said Ms Thomson.


Shepparton Art Museum is excited to announce its first major exhibition in 2016, Cornucopia.

Cornucopia will open at SAM on Saturday 27 February 2016 and run until Sunday 22 May 2016.

Cornucopia (meaning Horn of Plenty), showcases works by established and early career artists that utilise food and/or flora as an artistic medium or point of departure.

A multidisciplinary and trans-historical show, the exhibition teases out various strands of investigation around the production, consumption and distribution of food, as well as its metaphoric potential, socio-cultural uses and representation within art history.

The artists featured in Cornucopia include:
Lauren Berkowitz (AU), Julie Crouan (AU), A Centre for Everything (AU), Gabrielle de Vietri (AU), Julia deVille (NZ/AU), Mishka Henner (UK), The Hotham Street Ladies (AU), Georgie Mattingley (AU), Patricia Piccinini (AU), Kenny Pittock (AU), SUPERFLEX (DK), Sam Taylor-Johnson (UK), Kawita Vatanajyankur (THA), Claire Anna Watson (AU) and Andy Warhol (USA).

 SAM’s Acting Director, Dr Rebecca Coates notes:

‘Food, and its ethics, are very much topics of our times. What we consume, how it’s produced, and how it arrives at our table are realities of our every-day lives. Cornucopia touches on many of these themes: from food miles and sustainability to famine and lack, or genetic modification and the consequences of globalised production. The exhibition also explores cultural and religious food traditions and the significance of certain ingredients such as olive oil and salt. Located in country Victoria, SAM also celebrates those marvellous Australian institutions such as the CWA and their pursuit of the perfect asparagus roll and cup of tea.’

Exhibition Dates: Saturday 27 February 2016 to Sunday 22 May 2016.
Official Opening: Saturday 27 February 2016

For further information, print quality images, or to arrange interviews with SAM staff, please contact SAM Marketing Coordinator Gabriella Calandro via phone (03) 5832 9522 or by email

Image: Kawita Vatanajyankur, The Squeezers [still], 2015. Single channel HD video, 2min 35sec, courtesy of the artist and Stills Gallery, Sydney © the artist.

2016 Australian Indigenous Ceramic Art Award Applications Are Now Open.

From Monday 4 January, 2016 Shepparton Art Museum will be accepting applications for the Australian Indigenous Ceramic Art Award (ICAA) 2016.

This $20,000 acquisitive prize is open to Indigenous groups and individual artists to propose an exhibition concept to realise at SAM in August 2016. Application can be downloaded from the SAM website Applications close Tuesday 15 March 2016.

In order to work more closely with the Indigenous community and provide better career development opportunities for Australian artists, the 2016 ICAA will follow the format of other significant Awards such as the Sidney Myer Fund Australia Ceramic Award. To assist artists and arts groups to create a new and dynamic body of proposed work, the five shortlisted applicants will receive $2,600 development fee to help support their new body of work. The exhibition opening and award announcement is due to take place on Saturday 6 August. Accompanying this event, SAM, in partnership with Gallery Kaiela, will host a Cultural Programs weekend on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 August 2016. This program will provide a skills and knowledge exchange opportunity for Indigenous artists from around Australia and regional Victoria.

SAM’s Acting Director, Dr Rebecca Coates, notes:

“The success of this important Award is in part based on the mutual exchange of ideas, stories, expertise and understanding. The other major ingredient of course is outstanding works of art. At SAM, we remain committed to supporting Indigenous artists to create ambitious and exciting new works and projects, either individually or as a group. We are excited to see what this edition of the ICAA 2016 brings forth.’

Image: 2014 ICAA 2nd Prize, Alison Milyika Carroll, Ngayuku Walka 2014 © the artist, photo by Jamie Durrant.

SAM is also committed to supporting professional development opportunities. The curatorial team for the ICAA Award 2016 will include SAM’s Curatorial Assistant: Indigenous Visual Arts Residency as part of the curatorial team for the ICAA Award 2016. This is a 12 month partnership position with Indigenous Partnerships, Creative Victoria.

Established under the patronage of acclaimed artist Dr Gloria Thanakupi Fletcher, this Award celebrates and supports the rich and diverse use of the ceramic medium by Indigenous artists and acknowledges the special industry of ceramic art. As an acquisitive award it contributes to the Art Museum’s significant holdings of Australian and International ceramic art.

The ICAA is developed in partnership with the Sir Andrew and Lady Fairley Foundation, Margaret Lawrence Bequest and Mr Allan Myers AO QC and is generously supported by Fairer Futures Fund / Australian Communities Foundation.


Important Dates:

Applications open

Monday 4 January 2016

Applications close

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Artists advised of selection

Monday 21 March 2016

 Exhibition opens to the public

 Saturday 6 August 2016

Award Announcement and official opening

Saturday 20 August, 4 to 6pm

Cultural program weekend

Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 August 2016

Exhibition dates

Sunday 6 August to Sunday 25 September

For further information on how to apply, full terms and conditions and a history of the Award, please visit All applications for the ICAA 2016 are to be sent via post and arrive no later than 15 March 2016.

For further information, print quality images of past Award winners, or to arrange interviews with SAM staff, please contact SAM Marketing Coordinator Gabriella Calandro on phone (03) 5832 9522 or email