Shalom Gamarada to Award Aboriginal Art Centre

September 11, 2011 by Community Editor
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A  new art prize will be awarded at the Shalom Gamarada art exhibition to an Aboriginal art centre in a move designed to provide better support for Aboriginal communities.

Exhibition details

Xstrata Coal is sponsoring the $15 000 prize money for the 2011 Shalom Gamarada Indigenous Art Fair Award. The inaugural prize will be announced by Malcolm Turnbull MP at the official opening of the exhibition this week.

The annual Shalom Gamarada exhibition raises funds for its scholarship program for Aboriginal students studying medicine at UNSW. Shalom Gamarada is a partnership between Shalom College, a residential college at UNSW, the Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit in the university’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine and the Nura Gili Centre for Indigenous Programs at UNSW.

The concept of rewarding an art centre instead of a sole artist represents an exciting break with tradition, one that has stimulated huge interest from some of Australia’s leading Aboriginal Art Centres. Twenty-five centres from NT, WA. SA and Arnhem Land are registered to take part in the exhibition in Sydney between 17 and 25 September.

Judge and Aboriginal Art specialist, Shaun Dennison, says, “Art Centres are a key part of the Indigenous art industry, promoting excellence in artistic endeavours while also providing employment, leadership, guidance and profit to the community. This innovative award recognises the important role they play, while the prize money can be used in the development of artists and to fund infrastructure improvements.”

Peter Freyberg, Chief Executive Xstrata Coal says, “Xstrata Coal is proud to support such an innovative arts program to assist regional communities. We congratulate this year’s artists and the Shalom Gamarada team for helping realise this important project.”

By exhibiting the works produced by such a large and diverse range of art centres at Shalom Gamarada, Sydney art lovers are being given the rare opportunity to see 100 artworks from a variety of diverse communities around Australia, plus a large number of unstretched works.

Former President of the AMA Dr Bill Glasson said an increase in the number of Aboriginal doctors could make the single biggest difference to Indigenous health and the Shalom Gamarada scholarship program is a leader in the area of training Aboriginal doctors.

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