Record Nominations for the 2011 IMAGinE Awards!

Friday, September 9, 2011

imagine awards 2011And Cowra Regional Art Gallery has been nominated in the all important Exhibitions and Public Engagement category. Celebrating and acknowledging excellence and innovation, these awards offer a great guide to some of State’s most inspiring institutions and collections for the public.

Museums & Galleries NSW, Museums Australia (NSW), Regional Public Galleries of NSW and Museums Australia (ACT) have announced the nominations for this year’s IMAGinE Awards and Cowra Regional Art Gallery has been nominated in the Category – Exhibitions and Public Engagement for the Gallery curated component of the exhibition There’s a War On! World War II at Home. This included a showcase of visual art and craft objects, photographs and memorabilia from the gallery collection as well as community and private collections in Cowra.

Established in 2008 the IMAGinE Awards celebrate the achievements and extraordinary diversity of the NSW and ACT museum and gallery sector and those who work within it, both paid and volunteer staff. Comprising of over 650 organisations and approximately 5000 paid and volunteer workers, these galleries and museums also provide major contributions to their local communities, economies and cultural life as well as playing an important role in tourism across urban and regional NSW and the ACT.

Michael Rolfe, Museums & Galleries NSW CEO, said this week, “Record nominations highlight the diversity, strength and excellence in the sector. Both large and small and regional and metropolitan institutions stand side-by-side as equal nominees across the four Awards Categories – Collections Management, Exhibitions & Public Engagement, Education & Audience Development and Individual Achievement.”

“Additionally, the significant contribution that individuals make to their communities through museums and galleries across NSW and the ACT has been brilliantly showcased with the highest number of entries ever received in the individual achievement category,” continued Rolfe.

“The nominees and their projects provide great learnings and insights for fellow nominees. And the Imagine Awards are also an important opportunity for the public to learn more about these fascinating organisations and their unique collections and programs across NSW and the ACT as they highlight the best of the best,” concluded Rolfe.

This year’s Awards night will be held at the Australian Museum in Sydney on Friday September 30, with special guest MC Libbi Gorr and will reveal THE most inspiring and innovative exhibitions and collections on offer in NSW and the ACT.

New exhibition – Jeff Mincham: Ceramics

Monday, August 22, 2011

Image: Jeff Mincham Waiting for Rain 2009 multi-glazed, mid-fired earthenware 26 x 52 x 12cm. Photographer: Grant Hancock

Image: Jeff Mincham Waiting for Rain 2009 multi-glazed, mid-fired earthenware 26 x 52 x 12cm. Photographer: Grant Hancock

Jeff Mincham is one of Australia’s most prominent and influential ceramic artists with a career spanning more than 30 years. Cowra Regional Art Gallery is pleased to be hosting this outstanding national touring exhibition of over thirty significant works by Jeff Mincham from 20 August to 25 September 2011. This unique exhibition project has been curated by Sandra Brown in association with the Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft series presented by Object: Australian Centre for Craft and Design and supported by Visions of Australia.

Jeff Mincham’s extraordinary body of work arises from direct experiences within the landscape, and is loaded with metaphors of memories related to those special places. The surfaces of his vessels reflect an ongoing passion with the South Australian countryside – dramatically expressed through bold graphic interpretation of the patterns and colours of the region. Mincham is an artist in his creative prime and his work in this exhibition showcases the unique results of his passionate research and experimentation with surface textures and firing techniques.

An activist for the visual arts and crafts in Australia, Mincham is recognised for his service on Federal and State Arts bodies where he has been an advocate for greater recognition of arts and crafts in this country.

Mincham’s masterpieces feature in many of the great ceramic collections of this country, including The Art Gallery of South Australia, The National Gallery of Australia, The National Gallery of Victoria and the Powerhouse Mueseum, as well as many private collections. Mincham is also represented in many collections internationally.

Jeff Mincham: Ceramics opens to the public at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery on Saturday 20 August 2011 at 2pm including a special artists Floor Talk by Jeff Mincham in conversation with Cowra based and renowned Australian ceramicist Greg Daly.

On Wednesday 24 August at 12.30pm Jeff Mincham will present a special artists talk supported by Museums and Galleries NSW for High School students in the region interested in ceramics. This is a free educational event but bookings are essential as numbers are limited.

Sacred Footsteps from the Roof of the World – Mandala Tour

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Image left: Field ambulance purchased through funds raised by the Wagga Wagga branch of the 2WG Women’s Club. Courtesy of Charles Sturt University Regional Archives Image (right): Knitted Comforts booklet. Courtesy Albury City Council

Image left: Field ambulance purchased through funds raised by the Wagga Wagga branch of the 2WG Women’s Club. Courtesy of Charles Sturt University Regional Archives Image (right): Knitted Comforts booklet. Courtesy Albury City Council

Wednesday 10 to Sunday 14 August 2011

Sacred Footsteps visits Cowra for 5 days from 10 August at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery. The tour consists of 3 Tibetan monks and 2 assistants travelling throughout Australia bringing the Australian public a range of extraordinary experiences such as Tibetan ritual art forms, Buddhist practices and Tibetan culture. During their time in Cowra the monks will create a unique sand mandala, using traditional patterns. This is a rare opportunity to meet artists from another cultural background.

The art dates back 2500 years in India. Within the mandalas there are five elements – fire, air, water, earth and space, represented by the colours red, yellow, blue, green and white. The mandalas symbolise different aspects of Buddhist beliefs, and rituals are incorporated during the creation process. During the creation of the mandala there will be opportunities for interaction and discussion about Buddhist practices and Tibetan culture. A wall in the Gallery will be used to facilitate the hanging of thangkas behind a Tibetan shrine. There will also be Tibetan handcrafts for sale. During the creation of the sand mandala there will be opportunities for interaction and discussion about Buddhist practices and Tibetan culture.

Schedule

  • Wednesday 10 August
    9.30am Welcome & blessing of the space
    10am – 4pm Beginning the mandala
  • Thursday 11 August
    9.30am Chanting mediation with the monks
    10am – 4pm Monks create the mandala
  • Friday 12 August
    9.30am Chanting mediation with the monks
    10am – 4pm Monks create the mandala
  • Saturday 13 August
    9.30am Chanting mediation with the monks
    10am – 4pm Monks create the mandala
  • Sunday 14 August
    9.30am Chanting and mediation
    10am – 2pm Monks complete mandala
    2pm Mandala dissolution ceremony

New exhibition: There’s A War On! World War II At Home

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Meg Sheaffe in Sydney, c. 1943. Courtesy of Meg Sheaffe. Private collection

Meg Sheaffe in Sydney, c. 1943. Courtesy of Meg Sheaffe. Private collection

Commencing 4 June to 5 July 2011 at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery is a new thought provoking exhibition There’s A War On! World War II At Home. The exhibition is a Museums and Galleries NSW touring exhibition investigating the effect of World War II on the home front: loss, adventure, hardship, love, internment, friendship, uncertainty – the EXPERIENCES that shaped a generation.

World War II inflicted monumentous changes upon the people of New South Wales. As the cry “There’s a war on!” echoed across the countryside, men, women and children banded together to face an uncertain future.

For some, wartime meant loss, hardship or time in a POW/internment camp because of their status as ‘enemy aliens’. For others, supporting the war effort led to adventure, love, lasting friendships and new experiences.

There’s A War On! is made up of objects, memorabilia, photographs and video footage that presents the memories and ongoing stories of everyday Australians living in extraordinary circumstances. The exhibition will display a diverse collection of precious and practical World War II artefacts, including the delicate lace wedding dress and veil worn by more than fifty Brunswick Valley brides due to rationing of material, and the helmet and diary of Hurstville twin sisters who contributed their bit to the local war effort through the National Emergency Service.

The Cowra Regional Art Gallery is also presenting a showcase of local memorabilia including the two restored alter panels created by Italian Prisoners of War which were originally housed in the Italian Chapel at the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp.

The exhibition will be officially opened on Friday 3 June at 6.30pm by Mr Michael Rolfe CEO of Musuems and Galleries NSW.

There is also a special floor talk (free admission) about the exhibition on Saturday 4 June from 11am to 12 noon by Co-curator Sarah – Jane Rennie followed by the There’s a War

On ! website workshop (free admission) commencing at 1.30pm. During the workshop participants will view the online database for the project, may register as a member and shown how to enter their own material or collection of war memorabillia onto the site.

Cowra Shire Council wins Cultural Award

Friday, May 20, 2011

Adult workshop paticipants with completed shibori textiles (Babara Schey second from the end on the right). Image from culturalawards2011.lgsa.org.au.

Adult workshop paticipants with completed shibori textiles (Babara Schey second from the end on the right). Image from culturalawards2011.lgsa.org.au.

A residency and exhibition project presented by the Cowra Regional Art Gallery was among the winners of 17 NSW council projects that were recognised at the 2011 Local Government Cultural Awards ceremony at Parliament House, Sydney on Friday 6 May 2011. Cowra Shire Council received the ‘Program Projects and Partnerships Award’ in Division A for local government councils with a population under 20,000.

More than 100 projects across 54 councils were nominated for the annual awards – organised by the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW, sponsored by Essential Energy and supported by Accessible Arts NSW.

Judges comments:

The project consisted of a residency/workshop and survey exhibition of Shibori textiles by Sydney based textile artist and tutor Barbara Schey. The residency/workshop component included the artist presenting a series of workshops at two local high schools titled ‘Disappearing Shibori’ and a two day adult’s workshop titled ‘Shibori with Attitude’. The exhibition was titled ‘The Eternal Now: Shibori Textiles by Barbara Schey’ and curated by Brian Langer Cowra Regional Art Gallery Director.

Shibori Textiles Residency and Exhibition – Cowra’s history of connection to Japanese culture had mixed and uncertain beginnings. This project effectively encapsulated the role public galleries have within their communities to extend and grow cultural awareness, within the parameters set by a professional, challenging and well constructed exhibition program.

Other winning entries included a program that mentors local youth entrepreneurs, a series of Saturday morning reading activities for families, a literary and writing festival, and a large-scale collaborative theatre work that examines life in Sydney.

President of the Local Government Association, Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM, said the Awards are a celebration of councils’ commitment to enriching the lives of their residents through arts and culture.

President of the Shires Association, Cr Bruce Miller, said the awards highlight the importance of culture within the community.

For more information contact the Cowra Regional Art Gallery on 63402190.