La Trobe University has announced plans to develop an art institute in Bendigo.
The institute will bring together organisations including the Bendigo Art Gallery, La Trobe's visual arts centre, Bendigo Senior Secondary College and Bendigo TAFE.
It will offer resources and leadership in a collaborative venture to coordinate regional arts training, promotion, employment, and overall development.
Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said visual arts courses at La Trobe's Bendigo and Mlidura campuses would also be refreshed.
"Bendigo is already a powerhouse of artistic creativity, not only in Victoria but also across Australia," he said.
"We hope the creation of this institute will further build on the already strong reputation that Bendigo has as a regional centre of excellence in the arts."
La Trobe will appoint a new director to establish the La Trobe Art Institute. It has also appointed a Visual Arts Advisory Board to oversee the university’s renewed focus on regional visual arts.
The new board includes the Director of the National Gallery of Victoria and La Trobe Alumnus Tony Ellwood, and the Director of Bendigo Art Gallery, Karen Quinlan. Both have been appointed as Adjunct Professors at the University.
The new curriculum for La Trobe’s regional arts programs will begin in 2014, following a comprehensive consultation and design period.
All subjects will be available to students already enrolled in the Visual Arts program until the end of their chosen course. It is expected that many new subjects will be offered under the curriculum renewal plans.