On 17 May, as part of the Museums Australia Annual National Conference, the sector came together to celebrate the many projects and design work that occurred in 2013 and 2014. As the champagne flowed and trays of delicacies were bourne from guest to guest, Richard Mulvaney, Director at Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, presided over an evening of celebration and commiseration.
The two sets of awards, MAGNAs (Museums & Galleries National Awards) and MAPDAs (Museums Australia Multimedia & Publication Design Awards) encourage excellence in programming and design respectively.
Overall it was a great night for NSW museums and galleries.
Maitland Regional Art Gallery won in the Travelling and Temporary Exhibition Level 1 category for for Opportunity Shop, with judges describing the show as “An imaginative and engaging exhibition with strong local community appeal and an outstanding array of beautifully designed support materials.”
Also among the winners in the Travelling and Temporary Exhibition category was Macquarie University Art Gallery’s successful Affinities: 7 Museums, 50 Objects – The exhibition unveiled stories and insights into the tastes and values of cultures and societies, and also revealed the tastes and values that have shaped Macquarie University’s extraordinary collections since the institution’s foundation 50 years ago.
The Australian Museum took home a highly commended in Interpretation, learning & audience engagement Level 1 for The Art of Science: butterfly and mother paintings by the Scott sisters – mobile exhibition app. They were also the winner for Temporary or Travelling Exhibition Level 4 for the highly popular Tyrannosaurs.
“An imaginative and engaging exhibition with strong local community appeal and an outstanding array of beautifully designed support materials.” Judges on Maitland Regional Gallery's Opportunity Shop exhibition.
Judging of the MAPDA entries was conducted by a panel of judges representing the museums and galleries sector, graphic designers and print publishers. Below are some of the NSW highlights along with with the judges comments.
Exhibition Catalogue (major)
WINNER: Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre
Alex Seton: Roughing Out. Designer: Analiese Cairis
“Elegant white space with nice column widths and returns. Delicate colouring is sensitive to the work. Interesting font and oddness of layout work well.”
Exhibition catalogue (small)
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery
I Spy: Windows & Doors in Art. Designer: Stephen Goddard (Project Two)
“Beautiful stock and image reproduction. Lovely die cut and colour detail.”
JOINT WINNER: Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery
Look Closely Now. Designer: Stephen Goddard (Project Two)
“Inexpensive production with a powerful impact. The strength lies in the simplicity and surprise of the design and colour.”
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Australian Museum
Feathers of the Gods. Designer: Amanda Lo Teer (Australian Museum)
“Very contemporary with interesting combination of stocks and foiling. Nice details on trench fold. Beautiful colour palette reflective of content.”
WINNER: Art Gallery of New South Wales
My Art. Designer: Jo Hein (Art Gallery of NSW)
“Outstanding direction in kids’ book design in contrast to many other publications. Solid, robust production techniques, fit for use by children. Educational and nonpatronising design with great use of colour. Reflective of the collection with creative elements for children.”
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Hurstville City Library Museum & Gallery
Living Hurstville: Portraits of a Community. Designer: Reanne Potter (Hurstville City Council)
“Effective and instant communication. Nice and simple.”
WINNER: Maitland Regional Art Gallery
Opportunity Shop. Designer: Clare Hodgins (Maitland Regional Art Gallery)
“Well considered and honest continuity of elements. Great attention to detail. Nice tactile stock and unusual colour palette make is ‘a bit granny, but hip’.”
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Australian Museum
The Art of Science App. Designer: Peter Chen (Beaconmaker)
“Beautifully designed, reflecting and supporting the collection. Very intuitive navigation and exploration.”