VAC paving the way for change in year ahead

RELATED: Celebrating the life of Vali Myers

BENDIGO's La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre boasts a jam-packed 2014 exhibition program.

Visual Arts Centre managing curator Paul Northam said the program included a variety of contemporary exhibitions focusing on drawings, sculpture, photography, painting, craft and design.

"It's another strong program this year and a couple of pretty significant changes at the VAC," he said.

"The big news for us this year is that we're extending the exhibitions.

"We almost reached 18,000 visitors in 2013 so we feel, for that reason and a few other reasons, it's time to start extending the program which means we'll go from 22 exhibitions annually down to 13.

"Plus there's also the facade, a national competition so it's 14 exhibitions annually.

"That's quite a dramatic drop but the shows are longer."

Exhibitions in the gallery's front space will run for two months while exhibitions in the second gallery will be on show for about six weeks.

"We've noticed, particularly last year, a lot of people were turning up having missed the exhibition," he said.

Exhibitions extended to allow public greater access to art

"The other big news that ties together with that is from May this year we're going to move away from the Access Gallery's concept.

"The Access Gallery was established in 2008, specifically to support local artists, artists living and working in central Victoria.

"The VAC is immensely proud that since 2008 we've presented more than 60 exhibitions by local artists in the space.

"We're moving away from the idea of having a dedicated space but the VAC will certainly continue to actively support local artists but we'll do that through our general exhibition program."

This year's program includes: Vali Myers until February 23; Kim Anderson until February 16; Elisa Stone from February 19 to March 23; Tim Handfield from February 26 to April 27; Trefor Prest from March 26 to April 27; Irene Barberis from April 30 to June 15; Darren Wardle from June 18 to August 10; and Buen Calubayan from June 18 to August 3.

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