Museums & Galleries of NSW has announced the winners of the 2018 IMAGinE awards.
Bank Art Museum Moree won the award for Yeladu! Kamilaroi Art Today artist residency in the Engagement Programs category.
This artist residency program partnered with Moree Secondary College's SistaSpeak and BroSpeak Cultural and Mentoring Program to produce a permanent mural designed and created by Kamilaroi students. Artist Warraba Weatherall ran an initial brainstorming workshop, followed by a design phase and three days of student painting. The artist residency also supported an innovative exhibition which included a commissioned temporary wall mural by the artist within the exhibition space.
This engagement program produced the first mural created in a Moree school that was artist facilitated but wholly and directly designed and painted by Aboriginal students. Timed to be the backdrop for NAIDOC celebrations, a key priority was to ensure that students felt ownership over the finished product and all design decisions were made following student consultation.
The artist residency connected with the local high school to identify students from the school's program who would benefit from engaging in contemporary street art with cultural respect. The project significantly impacted youth attitudes toward culture and property, and used street art as a form of expression to positively impact their community. The school has requested to enter into a formal partnership and collaborate on future projects, and the artist residency will continue each year.
The IMAGinE awards promote and strengthen the NSW museum and gallery sector. They honour best practice education programs, outreach projects, exhibitions, collection management projects and achievements of individuals.
Recognising innovation and excellence in 500 museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres across NSW, the IMAGinE awards acknowledge the outstanding achievements of over 8,000 paid and volunteer workers in fostering richer local communities and their contribution to the extraordinary diversity within the NSW museum and gallery sector.
This year saw 96 nominations, the most in the history of the awards, representing the best of regional and metropolitan NSW visual arts and cultural heritage experiences. These awards offer a unique opportunity for museums and galleries to promote their achievements and raise their profile within the community.
Michael Rolfe, CEO, Museums & Galleries of NSW commended all recipients across the categories of Exhibition Projects, Engagement, Sustainability and Individual Achievement in paid and volunteered staffed organisations and said,
‘The judging panel was highly impressed by the quality and breadth of this years’ IMAGinE Awards nominations. Among the nominations we saw many examples of inspiring exhibition design, innovative programming and deep audience engagement. There were a number of extremely timely exhibitions contributing to social, environmental and cultural dialogues across the State and it was fantastic to see not only familiar nominees who continue to excel each year but also new organisations and fresh faces’.