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Chen Qiulin. One Hundred Names.

In June SAM welcomes one of China’s most acclaimed contemporary artists Chen Qiulin.

In June SAM welcomes one of China’s most acclaimed contemporary artists Chen Qiulin and the exhibition One Hundred Names. This exhibition, developed in collaboration with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney offers a rare survey of over a decade of work by this multidisciplinary artist.

Using a combination of photography, video installation, performance and other media, Chen investigates the contradictions that arise when a country tries both to maintain tradition, and to develop rapidly. Her work examines how migration, displacement, and urban development disrupt traditional Chinese ancestry, culture and way of life. While the unusually rapid development of China highlights these issues, they are not unique to China, and reflect stories and experiences shared by many others in the developing world.

SAM Director, Dr Rebecca Coates says:

“SAM is delighted to present a major exhibition by contemporary Chinese artist Chen Qiulin. Her work explores global themes such as migration, economic growth, the rise of the new middle class. Through her ongoing interest in food and scent, she reflects on the smaller things that remind us of ‘home’. The themes that run through Chen’s work resonate strongly in the Shepparton and Goulburn Valley region, now home to many who have come from other parts of the globe.”

Chen was born in Hubei Province and currently works in Chengdu, an important metropolitan hub in southwest China. She has worked in the same area of China throughout her career, inspired by the socio-political issues affecting everyday life around her.

This 7 week exhibition features a series of early photographic works from the Migration series including The Garden (2007) and Dawning Bell (2009), which see the artist stage theatrical performances against the backdrop of Chen’s home city of Wanzhou, collaborating with local workers as both cast and crew.

Chen will also present, One Hundred Names for Kwong Wah Chong, (2015), a multi-channel video installation commissioned by 4A Centre For Contemporary Asian Art. This work is the latest iteration of Qiulin’s on-going One Hundred Surnames in Tofu (2004 – ) project that presents the one hundred most common Chinese family names carved in tofu. In this version of the work, Qiulin has also produced a series of short documentaries with local residents of Chengdu. These conversations draw on personal experiences of displacement and allow audiences to think about migration more broadly in Shepparton, Australia and in other parts of the world.

As part of her exhibition at SAM, Chen will perform a tofu carving using significant Chinese migrant names from the Shepparton area.

Important dates

Exhibition Dates

4 June to 24 July 2016          

Exhibition Opening

Saturday 4 June 2016, 4 to 6pm

Tofu Carving Performance

Saturday 4 June 2016, from 4pm



SAM announces 2016 Indigenous Ceramic Art Award (ICAA) shortlisted artists.

2016 ICAA artists Shortlisted.

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) is delighted to announce the seven shortlisted artists and arts collectives who will present an exhibition in the 2016 Indigenous Ceramic Art Award (ICAA). The Award celebrates and supports the rich and diverse use of the ceramic medium by Indigenous artists and acknowledges the special industry of ceramic art. The winner of the $20,000 acquisitive prize will be announced during the exhibition official opening event, Saturday 20 August 2016.

The 2016 shortlisted artists are:

  • Janet Fieldhouse, Torres Strait (QLD)
  • Deanne Gilson, Wadawurrung/ Wathaurung (VIC)
  • Sean Miller, Kamilaroi (NSW)
  • Raymond Young, Gunnai / Yorta Yorta/ Gunditjmara (VIC)
  • Alison Murray, Girramay (QLD)

    Gallery Kaiela Artists (VIC)

  • Jack Anselmi, Yorta Yorta
  • Cynthia Hardie, Yorta Yorta

    Ernbella Women Potters, Pukatja Community – Pitjantjatjara Language (SA)
  • Lynette Lewis
  • Yaritji Jack
  • Marissa Thompson
  • Anne Thompson
  • Tjimpuna Williams
  • Janelle Thompson
  • Rachael Mipantjiti Lionel
  • Alison Milyika Carroll
  • Carlene Thompson

In 2016 the ICAA attracted applications from around the country. The seven shortlisted applicants have been invited to present a substantial body of new work for display at SAM from 6 August to 25 September, 2016. Accompanying the exhibition will be a series of cultural programs that will provide skills and knowledge exchange.

Judging the finalist in the 2016 ICAA are: Tom Mosby, CEO, Koorie Heritage Trust Inc; Kimberley Moulton, Senior Curator South Eastern Australian Collections, Melbourne Museum; and Dr Rebecca Coates, Director, Shepparton Art Museum.

The 2016 ICAA will be curated by Project Curator Joanna Bosse and Belinda Briggs, Curatorial Assistant – Indigenous Visual Arts.

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.

SAM Out Late! with Kenny Pittock

Kenny Pittock will be at SAM talking about the ideas and meaning behind his captivating vending machine artwork “31 Dinner Options While Waiting for the Last Train Home”, 2015.

The Shepparton Art Museum will welcome Cornucopia artist Kenny Pittock to SAM for SAM Out Late! on Thursday 21 April.

For each exhibition, SAM develops a series of SAM Out Late! programs to complement the exhibitions. The program invites exhibiting artists and curators to present floor talks and forums allowing insight into artistic processes and a deeper understanding into exhibition themes.  The evening also encourages those attending to add to the dialogue on the night by ask questions and get involved in the conversation.

In response to SAM current exhibition, Cornucopia, next week artist Kenny Pittock  will be at SAM presenting on  the ideas and meaning behind his captivating vending machine artwork 31 Dinner Options While Waiting for the Last Train Home.

Throughout the duration of Cornucopia this life size contemporary cornucopia has tricked and delighted visitors to the Museum. As you approach the vending machine you see the familiar snack options all lined up, perfectly lit and it’s only after a closer look do you notice these snack are not quite right.

To find out how Pittock’s vending machine came together and more about his artistic process come along to the free SAM event on Thursday 21 April.

SAM Out Late! with Kenny Pittock
When: Thursday 21 April, 6 – 7pm
Where: SAM
Cost: Free
RSVP: Call SAM (03) 5832 9861, light refreshments provided

SAM Out Late! with curator Anna Briers
Learn more about the themes and artists in the exhibition Cornucopia with Senior Curator Anna Briers.
When: Thursday 12 May, 6 – 7pm
Where: SAM
Cost: Free
RSVP: Call SAM (03) 5832 9861, light refreshments provided

A Centre for Everything

Upcoming event at SAM

A Centre for Everything: Some Questions, A Few Stories and an Albanian Dinner.

As part of the SAM exhibition Cornucopia, the art collective A Centre for Everything will be conducting a “performative quiz” at Lutfiyes Shish Kebab. 

Participants will enjoy Albanian cuisine, engage in conversations about art and cultural customs, and take part in a quiz about SAM, culinary skills and Eastern European geography.

 Find out more about A Centre for Everything here.


This performative quiz brings together art, food and place. Brush up on your culinary trivia, visit Shepparton Art Museum and hone your Eastern European geography to take home the prize. No need to book teams – they will be assembled on the night.


Interwoven into the night will be anecdotes gathered from local and international conversations, artworks and customs. Half-knowledge, hard facts and fiction mingle in these pieces of gossip.


Lutfiyes Shish Kebab is an institution in Shepparton. It was established in 1990 by Azem and Jeihan, a young couple who now also run Shepparton’s mobile soup kitchen, provide food for fire fighters in emergencies, and basically, treat everyone like family when they enter their restaurant. And they make incredible food. Come and enjoy their signature Albanian rice, delicious baked vegetables and tasty stews.

Date:         Saturday 7 May
Time:         5 to 8pm
Audience:  Adults
Venue:      Lutfiyes Shish Kebab, 338 Wyndham St, Shepparton
Cost:         $15 (Incl. Dinner)
Artists:     Gabrielle de Vietri and Will Foster
Bookings: To book click HERE

New SAM project public information session

Local residents are invited to attend a public information session on the new SAM on Thursday 21 April at 8.30am to hear the latest updates on the project.

The information session will be a Q & A session with a welcome by the Mayor, Cr Dinny Adem and a short presentation by Greater Shepparton City Council Director Community Kaye Thomson and SAM Director Dr Rebecca Coates.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions. A light breakfast will be provided.

The information session will be held in the Shepparton Art Museum Upstairs Gallery, Welsford Street, Shepparton. The session will finish at 9.30am.

If you want to attend you must RSVP for catering purposes to Raquel on 5832 9700 or email by Tuesday 19 April.

Professional Learning at SAM for Teachers

Teaching and Learning in an Art Museum

SAM runs a series of education workshops, talks and events throughout the year. For more information or to make a booking contact (03) 5832 9861.

Pop Art Iconography and Silkscreen Printing

Date: Tuesday 19 and 26 April
Time: 5 to 7pm
Audience: Secondary teachers
Venue: Shepparton High School
Cost: $45
Tutor: Mimi Leung

Learn about the silkscreen process behind works such as Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell’s Soup II – Cheddar Cheese print and other pop art iconography.

Using a simple stencil cut technique and two-colour registration, teachers will complete a small series of A4 or A3 prints. The aim is to provide teachers with an understanding of silkscreen materials and processes that can be adapted for both visual art and media arts curriculum bands.

Please bring a printmaking screen if you have one and an apron.

Using Padlet and ICT Learning Resources in the Primary Classroom

Date: Thursday 14 April – Primary Teachers
          Thursday 12 May – Secondary Teachers
Time: 5 to 7pm
Venue: Alex Rigg Room
Cost: Free
Tutor: Patsy Killeen

Learn skills using Padlet, an online collaborative page that is an easy to use ICT tool to incorporate into classroom teaching and learning. The online page enables teachers and students to share and communicate content on a topic by sharing images, videos, documents and links to other online resources. Teachers can use Padlet to pose questions, receive answers and give feedback to their students. During the workshop participants will also be introduced to a selection of other online ICT teaching tools.

Please bring your own laptop or tablet device and a lesson or unit plan to share.


VCE and Senior Students Career Pathways in the Visual Arts

Date: Wednesday 18 May & 22 June, 5 to 7pm
Venue: Alex Rigg Room (Greater Shepparton City Council)
Cost: Free, bookings are essential (03) 5832 9861

This new series for senior secondary students, SAM invites young professionals from Shepparton to talk about their careers pathways in the arts. This series provides students with an opportunity to understand the range of career options within arts and culture sector.

New SAM update – What’s Next?

Work is continuing on the new SAM project with the governance model, a Federal Government funding application and a design competition all underway.

Governance Model

A workshop with councillors, the Project Board and other key stakeholders was held to discuss all theo ptions for governance of the new SAM. As a result the Project Board has engaged Russell Kennedy lawyers to provide Governance direction for a Company Limited by Guarantee. This is the only effective way for Council to share the expanded operating risks of a new Art Museum, and to secure capital and operating funds required if the project is to be feasible. The Council cannot deliver the project on its own.

SAM will be governed by a skills based Board on which Council will have two nominated representatives. It recommends the Board comprise individuals with designated skills relevant to a significant cultural institution, able to assist the Governance Board in its objectives.

The new SAM is contingent upon this governance model, the project cannot otherwise be realised, as the private funds required would be unable to be raised under an alternative model. It is recommended the existing collection remain in the ownership of the Council as will the new building which will be leased to the Art Museum Board for a peppercorn rent. The Art Museum Board may also accept and own works of art, which will enable gifts to the Museum which would otherwise not occur, with private donors often unwilling to give art to a local government entity.

The draft constitution of this new Company Limited by Guarantee will be presented to Council in April.

 Funding Applications

Council was successful in obtaining $10m in funding from the Victorian State Government through the Regional Infrastructure Fund as announced on 3 March 2016 by Jaala Pulford, Minister for Regional Development. An application to the Federal Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund was submittedon 15 March 2016.

 Capital Contribution

 Greater Shepparton City Council  $10m (Council committed to this amount in May 2015)
 Victorian State Government   $10m (Committed March 2016)
 Federal Government      $10m (Application submitted 15 March 2016)
 SAM foundation     $4.5m (Confirmed)

  Operational Contribution / Trust Fund

 SAM Foundation $8m 

The SAM Foundation will raise the $8m as an endowment to support operating costs. The total capital cost for a new SAM is $34.5m.

Council will then own an asset three times that value which will generate $58.1m in economic activity over the two year construction period, equating to the creation of 72 direct jobs and a total of 181 jobs including all direct, industrial and consumption effects, across the region.

The SAM Foundation have confirmed funds of $2m and are confident of securing the additional funds. The SAM Foundation ‘Giving Tree” has already secured around $25,000 from community donations and is still growing.

Architectural Design competition

The Project Board is currently working on a Procurement Plan for the architectural design of the new

Shepparton Art Museum. This is a two stage competition that will be conducted in accordance with the Australian Institute of Architects’ Competition Guidelines and endorsed by the Institute. The design competition will start with an Expression of Interest which will ask for a design approach and a vision for the new facility as well as a capability statement.

From the Expression of Interest, a shortlist of architectural firms will be asked to submit a concept design for consideration.

The management of the design competition and the full design phase will be overseen by a panel of experts including the formal position of a Competition Advisor.

Site Location at Victoria Park Lake

The new SAM will be built adjacent to Victoria Park Lake on land vacated by the Shell Service Station and the Lake Cafe whose leases expire in May 2017. An environmental audit has been conducted with EPA involvement and once the site is vacated remediation works will begin.

The plan to create an elevated building, with a reduced footprint at the site of the existing Shell Service Station on Victoria Park Lake has been endorsed by the Catchment Management Authority. VicRoads are advising on entry and exit points for vehicles.

Construction Phase

Once the design competition is finalised and there is an approved design, building permits and preliminary works can begin. The project is estimated to be a two year build from start to finish.

Further information about the project