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Two open-call group exhibitions at Shepparton Art Museum are now open to applications

Two opportunities for local creatives to have their works on display in the Shepparton Art Museum’s (SAM) Community Gallery are now open to applications. SAM Fresh: GV Top Art & Design 2022, the annual VCE arts exhibition, is now open for VCE students who completed Unit 4 in Arts, Studio Arts or Visual Communications in 2022 to submit their final folio works for display. SAM Open 2023, an annual open-call group exhibition, is now accepting submissions of works that respond to the theme of Home.

SAM Fresh 2021 featured in the SAM Community Gallery as part of the museum’s opening suite of exhibitions in November 2021. The works of over 40 local VCE students were displayed and offered a valuable opportunity to establish an exhibition history for senior students wanting to pursue careers in the arts.

Available to creatives aged 16 years and over at all experience levels or career stages, SAM Open celebrates the creativity of the Greater Shepparton, Goulburn Valley and Hume regions. The theme for the upcoming SAM Open is Home. The theme is open to broad artistic interpretation and may be approached from a personal, social, or cultural perspective.  

Caroline Esbenshade, SAM Community Curator, says of the opportunities:

“I’m excited about the upcoming SAM Open and SAM Fresh exhibitions – both programs offer creatives of all stages an opportunity to exhibit their work in a nationally significant regional gallery and an opportunity for us to shine a spotlight on our community. SAM Fresh, our VCE arts show, will showcase the talent of students in our region and provide them with feedback on their work to continue in their professional development. SAM Open builds on the history of the Friends of SAM annual exhibition, celebrating and promoting the diversity of creativity in our region.”

Folio submissions for SAM Fresh: GV Top Art & Design 2022 will close on 12 December 2022. SAM Fresh will be on display at SAM from 18 February to 23 April 2023.

Applications for SAM Open 2023 will close on 6 February 2023. SAM Open will be on display at SAM from 29 April to 16 July 2023.

Information on the full process, guidelines and artwork specifications can be found on the SAM website:

All Together exhibition treatment

Meredith Turnbull & Ross Coulter’s All Together, SAM’s newest Children’s Gallery exhibition opens 12 November 2022

Meredith Turnbull & Ross Coulter’s All Together, SAM’s newest Children’s Gallery exhibition, is set to open this Saturday 12 November 2022.

SAM is pleased to present All Together in its Children’s Gallery from artists Meredith Turnbull & Ross Coulter. Playfully referencing the history of the group portrait from Velasquez’s famous work Las Meninas through to the "awkward family photo", All Together is the next stage in an evolving project from Turnbull and Coulter. Featuring a collection of group photos of families, the exhibition expands on how we interpret and represent ‘family’ in this collaborative project between the artists and visitors to SAM.

The Children’s Gallery, transformed into a creative workshop space, will feature a large, quilted backdrop and selfie station where gallery-goers can self-compose their own group portrait. Workstations with materials will also be placed in the space for young visitors to create their own portrait of their family and friends in more unconventional settings. The artworks created by visitors can then adorn the walls of the gallery, growing the exhibition over time and joining the portraits previously taken by the artists.

Artists Meredith Turnbull and Ross Coulter say of the exhibition:

“With our project All Together, we want to make a joyful space for people to come into that is supportive and celebrates our families and networks - people we value and spend time with. We’re excited to be here on Yorta Yorta Country and to have the opportunity to work with Shepparton’s strong and diverse communities. We’d love it if kids can come into this space and feel comfortable to take photos of themselves, their friends and/or family and have a think about the special people in their lives. They’re also free to direct and choreograph their groups in their photos! It’s been a challenging time for local community with the recent floods and for all of us in different ways during the pandemic and many of these issues are ongoing. With the group portraits we really want our participants to enjoying the process of coming together and to come away with a beautiful group photograph that they can enjoy for years to come.”

In January 2023, visitors to SAM will have the opportunity to pose for a professional group photo, taken by the artists themselves. The portraits will become part of the growing All Together project, and families will receive a digital copy of their portrait to keep.

Caroline Esbenshade, SAM Curator – Community, says of the exhibition:

All Together is both an exhibition and a creative space, and is particularly a place for families. This show asks us to reflect our idea of family – for many people, it doesn’t just consist of relatives, but also friends, pets, sports teammates. I’m looking forward to seeing all the expressions of family our community has captured – be it in the photographs taken by the artists, the artworks made by kids in the space, or the pictures taken by visitors and shared on Instagram. In February, Meredith & Ross will incorporate the community portraits taken from our January photoshoots into the exhibition, and I hope that seeing themselves on the gallery walls will make visitors feel like they are part of SAM.”

Meredith Turnbull & Ross Coulter: All Together will open on Saturday 12 November 2022 and will run until 30 April 2023. Bookings can be made for professional group portrait sittings via the link:

 About Meredith Turnbull & Ross Coulter:

Meredith Turnbull and Ross Coulter have 40 years combined experience making and exhibiting art. Individually they were featured in the 2012 National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) exhibition Melbourne Now and have extensive solo careers. They frequently exhibit with major institutions such as the NGV, the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne, Monash University Museum of Art, and Heide Museum of Modern Art. Their work is held in
public collections across Australia.