Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

The Art of Protesting; Archibald Winner and Other Celebrated Australians Get Behind Grafton Regional Gallery

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

The Art of Protesting; Archibald Winner and Other Celebrated Australians Get Behind Grafton Regional Gallery

Article excerpt

Byline: Lesley Apps lesley.apps@dailyexaminer.com.au

AS THE dust settles on the Clarence Valley Council's decision to lessen the impact of cuts to the Grafton Regional Gallery due to the number of passionate submissions they received, it was interesting to note that not all the voices opposing the cuts came from Clarence Valley residents. Some were sent from organisations and people from around the country.

While numerous local artists made their presence felt, as word spread some of Australia's best also got behind the Grafton gallery to express their concern and show their support.

Here are just a few excerpts from submissions received from high-profile artists from around the country:

Celebrated Australian artist and Archibald winner Ben Quilty (Sydney):

"I am writing in regard to a flyer that has been emailed to me this morning regarding the Grafton Regional Gallery. I am assuming your suggested 50% cut in funding is only a suggestion? I will do some more research and begin to engage today, but I would appreciate any information you can offer me. If your council does propose to cut funding to your local art museum by 50% then I could probably suggest that you'll be hearing a lot more from folk like me over the coming months."

Wynne Prize finalist and Sydney-based landscape painter Luke Scriberras:

"It is very disheartening to hear of the proposed cuts to the funding of your wonderful gallery. Not only when you consider what a false economy it is to neglect the valuable collection you house but to abandon the cultural prism the gallery reflects from your community to the broader audience. This would be a very short sighted move on behalf of the council who are obviously unaware that the greater community and the 'powers that be' which actually govern them will take a dim view of a local council which is blind to the cultural catchment they represent."

Victorian artist, lecturer and former gallery artist-in-residence Rona Green:

"Very disappointing to hear of the proposed cuts... This institution adds such value to the community and gives so much to visitors as well as providing opportunities for artists. Please re-consider the proposed seemingly excessive cuts and perhaps consider other ways to budget without being harmful to the welfare and the future of the gallery. It would be such a shame if the Grafton Regional Gallery could not continue to operate as a vibrant and accessible cultural institution of great quality."

Internationally renowned printmaker based in Canberra, GW Bot:

"Please do not let this happen. The Grafton Regional Gallery not only functions to a local audience but a national one as well.

"I was recently invited to give a lecture at the Grafton Regional Gallery Print Symposium in 2016. …

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