Months in the planning and with an assembly of delegates and speakers from all corners of our immediate world, and from further afield, Art & Artists, 6th Public Galleries Summit, Australia and New Zealand, was widely considered an outstanding success. The response from delegates, speakers and guests confirmed the value of our artist focused programming and the more detailed selection of topics explored through panel discussion and informal chat.
We’ll provide more detailed overviews and links to articles covering various conversations from the Summit in future Alert editions. In the meantime, some of the highlights (there being too many to list here), included Anne Loxley’s keynote conversation with Mami Kataoka and Brook Andrew, Clothilde Bullen’s First Nation Priorities and Future Directions session with Paola Balla, Glen Iseger-Pilkington and Megan Tamati-Quennell and the Artist-led provocation featuring Abdul Abdullah, Vernon Ah Kee and Deborah Kelly.
Brook Andrew’s performative keynote What’s Left Behind was a powerful reflection on his work in the 2018 Biennale of Sydney and more broadly, the collaborative processes he uses working with artists, institutions and collections. Contributions by Reuben Friend, Dominic Willsdon, Courtenay Johnston and Jim Geddes took us to other places. Cigdem Aydemir reminded everyone of the value that risk injects when encouraging a critical engagement with histories and place. I could go on to mention all contributors. All speakers played a crucial role in enabling the success this event enjoyed.
Financial and other support received from Create NSW, Carriageworks and City of Sydney deserves special mention, Carriageworks in particular proved an ideal venue. The team from 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art were extraordinary in curating and facilitating the Summit Dinner; it was certainly a night to remember! Similarly, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of NSW and National Art School deserve special mention for the enthusiasm with which they programmed our off-site sessions. Finally, a thank you goes to the Hon Don Harwin MLC, NSW Minister for the Arts, for the enthusiasm he articulated in formally launching Art & Artists.
On behalf of Regional Public Galleries NSW, its members and the board and staff of Museums & Galleries of NSW a big thank you goes to all who participated and were involved.