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

Bridget Bodenham at SAM

This week will see the installation of new work in Shepparton Art Museum’s Showcase cabinet by popular ceramic artist, Bridget Bodenham.

Bridget Bodenham lives and works in her studio in the idyllic bushland setting of Hepburn Springs, Australia. She has exhibited extensively both within Australia and overseas, and was a finalist in the Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award and an Honourable Mention in the Mino International Ceramic Award, Japan. Bridget has also tutored in ceramic art at Ballarat University. 

Bridget works full-time making ceramic serving ware, tableware, utensils and jewellery as well as planter pots and flower vases.

Anna Briers, SAM senior curator said:

‘The team at SAM are super excited about Bridget’s inclusion in the forthcoming Showcase. Bridget has developed a trade mark visual language for which she is renowned in design circles. Her ceramic homewares are graphic and bold, with striking contrasts of textured stoneware clay combined with seductive gold detailing and applied patterns in black, white and navy. These works will be snapped up fast.’

Bridget takes great care in creating each piece of work by hand and then fires them up to three times in her large gas kiln. Each firing is totally unique, resulting in one off pieces.

Curated in partnership with Bree Claffey of Melbourne-based gallery and retailer Mr Kitly, SAM’s Showcase provides a unique opportunity for collectors and craft lovers to acquire work as all pieces are available for purchase.

Showcase #11: Bridget Bodenham will be on display until Sunday 30 October with all works for sale through the SAM Shop.

Images: Copyright © 2015

New acquisition now on show at SAM

SAM is delighted to announce that the newly acquired Tent Hill Gully, by Albert Namatjira is now on show. This recent donation from Carrillo Gantner AO, SAM Foundation board member and Chairman of the Sidney Myer Fund Foundation is the first in a line of new acquisitions that will be on display throughout the duration of 80/80: Eighty Years of SAM, The Collection exhibition on the New Acquisitions wall.

2016 marks 80 years since the early beginnings of the SAM collection. Over the years the collection has grown to include many notable works, with the ceramics collection one of the most significant in Australia. The exhibition 80/80: Eighty Years of SAM, The Collection, celebrates many jewels in the SAM collection acquired over the 80 years. A series of new acquisitions will be showcased with Albert Namatjira’s lyric landscape the first to be presented.

SAM Director, Dr Rebecca Coates says:

“This work has great significance for SAM’s collection. It showcases the landscape of Namatjira’s own country in Central Australia, captured in the vivid blues and fluidly evocative realist watercolour style for which he is renowned. Generous donations and gifts of this kind add to the stories we can tell around the collection and enable us to continue to review and reappraise our own histories.”

Tent Hill Gully, by Albert Namatjira will be on display until September.

Further information about Albert Namatjira and Tent Hill Gully:

Albert Namatjira is best known for his watercolours of the landscapes of northern and central Australia. Tent Hill Gully depicts a scene in the Tent Hill region, Northern Territory. The work is a fine example of Namatjira’s skill with the delicate but challenging watercolour media. Namatjira’s deft application of his ‘signature luminous blue colour’ is subtly apparent in the details of the tree-tops in the background of Tent Hill Gully. This artwork is also an important link to several pieces in the SAM Collection. Of particular note is a watercolour by Walter Ebatarinja, one of Namatjira’s students, as well as the many ceramics by the Hermannsburg Potters, which include a small, lidded terracotta jar by Namatjira’s granddaughter Elaine Namatjira.

Image: Albert Namatjira, Tent Hill Gully c.1940, watercolour on paper, donated by Carrillo Gantner through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gift Program, 2016, is now showing at SAM.

New SAM Architectural Competition

Greater Shepparton City Council is inviting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from suitably qualified and experienced architects who are interested in developing concept designs for the proposed new Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) on a site adjacent to Victoria Park Lake, Shepparton.

Architectural competition unique opportunity for architects

Greater Shepparton Council announces an Architectural Competition for a new Shepparton Art Museum which will provide an opportunity for architects to design a unique public building in a regional area.

The new Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) building will be an outstanding example of exciting, best-practice contemporary museum architecture designed by one of Australia’s leading architects on a remarkable site in regional Victoria.

Greater Shepparton City Council is inviting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from suitably qualified and experienced architects who are interested in developing concept designs for the proposed new Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) on a site adjacent to Victoria Park Lake, Shepparton.

This is the first stage in a two-stage competition endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects. Council is looking for a wide range of responses to the EOI and from the responses a seven person jury will select a shortlist of five. Shortlisted teams will be invited to develop a concept design for SAM in stage 2.

Each shortlisted team will be provided with a more detailed brief and will be paid an honorarium of $7,000 to assist with the development of the concept design. The winning entry will receive a prize of $10,000.

The competition will result in a commission to the successful entrant, who will be appointed to work with Greater Shepparton City Council and SAM stakeholders to further develop the design. Funding has been received from the Victorian State Government, Council and the SAM Foundation.

An announcement of $10 million was made by Minister for Regional Development and Nationals Deputy Leader Senator Fiona Nash when she visited Shepparton on 14 June towards the construction of a new SAM if the Coalition was returned to government. Council is awaiting formal confirmation.

The seven member jury is a skills based board, with professional members drawn from the arts, architecture/design, academia, Indigenous architecture and related industries.

Greater Shepparton City Council Director Community and Project Board Chair, Kaye Thomson, said the successful proponent will bring an inventive and thoughtful design strategy and the capacity to develop and deliver an outstanding project.

“We are very excited to have reached the stage of seeking design concepts. A new SAM has been in the pipeline for many years and the design competition is a project that will provide interesting challenges and unique opportunities for the successful architect,” said Ms Thomson.

SAM Director, Dr Rebecca Coates said SAM’s curatorial program engages with its local context, while exploring contemporary themes that are global in their scope and ambitions.

“The museum is noted for its ceramics collections, which is one of the most important in regional Australia. It also has significant collections of Indigenous art from around Australia, signature historic paintings by leading Australian artists, and a growing collection by leading contemporary artists,” said Dr Coates.

“We want the SAM building to foster a strong sense of engagement, ownership and pride for visitors and local audiences alike. This is an opportunity to celebrate and enhance the rich and diverse Shepparton community, which includes the largest Aboriginal community in Victoria outside Melbourne and people from many parts of the world,” said Dr Coates.

The design competition opens on Friday 29 July and closes at 4pm on 31 August. For information on the design competition visit

Please submit all tenders through the TenderSearch website

SAM Announces 2016 Local Spotlight Artist Tarli Bird

SAM Local Spotlight 10 December 2016 to 15 January 2017

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) is pleased to announce that it will be profiling the work of Tarli Bird as part of SAM Local Spotlight from 10 December 2016 to 15 January 2017.

Tarli will create an immersive sound-based experience for the viewer, based on the heart rate of local runners through the musical device of the metronome.

Tarli commented:

‘I’m excited about exhibiting at SAM with a project that combines my passions in life: sport and art. As an elite distance runner I’m always fascinated when people regard sport and art as being polar opposites. I find athletes and artists contain very similar attributes that I’m looking forward to highlighting in my exhibition.

I hope to break down the barrier between the sports field and art gallery through my exhibition and draw new viewers into the gallery. My exhibition will have the heart rates of local runners after a running race transferred onto individual music metronomes which will communicate their internal body clocks externally to be watched. The metronomes will continue to perform for the duration of the exhibition, providing a visual and audio representation of how the bodies’ experienced the race. The viewers can determine for themselves which individual has pushed their body to the furthest limit.’

Tarli will record the heart rates of Shepparton Park Run participants on Saturday 3 December at the Victoria Park Lake, Wyndham Street, Shepparton after they complete the 5km run.

Tarli is Echuca-based, and an art teacher at Echuca College.

Tarli’s SAM Local Spotlight exhibition is an expansion of a project she undertook as part of the 2010 Next Wave Festival.


Instagram: @tarlibird

SAM Local. Spotlight profiles the work of a local artist with a solo exhibition over December to January. This initiative encourages, stimulates and promotes local and regional cultural activities as part of SAM’s annual program. It enables artists to experience working in a professional museum context.

Showcase #10 with Vanessa Lucas

Showcase #10 Vanessa Lucas Saturday 30 April to Sunday 24 July

SAM has hit a milestone with the 10th Showcase exhibition now showing in the entry of SAM. Showcase #10 features the work of Melbourne based ceramicist and designer Vanessa Lucas.

Vanessa’s range of slipcast porcelain tableware and wheel thrown works are inspired by organic forms.  “To work with clay is to work in close harmony with nature”, says Ms Lucas. “The constantly changing relationship of air and water with the malleable quality of clay determines what can be achieved in the process of making. The clay itself is an ancient piece of earth that has formed over millions of years of weathering.”

Showcase #10 with Vanessa Lucas will run until 24 July and all items featured can be purchased through the SAM shop.

This year Shepparton Art Museum Showcase exhibitions will be curated in partnership with Bree Claffey of Melbourne based gallery and retailer Mr Kitly.

2016 SAM Showcase 2016:

Showcase #10 Vanessa Lucas Saturday 30 April to Sunday 24 July
Showcase #11 Bridget Bodenham Saturday 30 July to Sunday 30 October
Showcase #12 Andrei Davidoff Saturday 5 November to Sunday 29 January, 2017