BENDIGO will soon be home to an art institute.
La Trobe University yesterday announced plans for an institute that will bring together a host of organisations including the Bendigo Art Gallery, La Trobe’s Visual Arts Centre, Bendigo Senior Secondary College and Bendigo TAFE.
The institute will offer resources and leadership in a collaborative venture to coordinate regional arts training, promotion, employment, and overall development.
La Trobe Univesity vice-chancellor Professor John Dewar said visual arts courses at La Trobe’s Bendigo and Mildura 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.”
Bendigo Art Gallery director Karen Quinlan said the project would further cement Bendigo as an arts capital.
“Relationships like this are so important and we’ve already achieved many, many milestones and this is definitely going to consolidate by bringing together these institutions in Bendigo,” she said.
“That’s the greatest, most powerful thing you can do, so it’s really very exciting.”
Ms Quinlan said it was important for the gallery to be involved. “They’re future artists and we need to nurture them,” she said.
“There’s great potential for the development of an arts school here in Bendigo, particularly with our collection which is an important collection in terms of the national collections.
“So I really just want to share what we have and nurture these future artists.”
Professor Dewar confirmed La Trobe would 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 National Gallery of Victoria director Tony Ellwood and 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.