Saltwater Freshwater Aboriginal Art Award and Exhibition Wins Share of Regional Cultural Fund

Saltwater Freshwater Aboriginal Art Award and Contemporary Cultural Objects exhibition has been awarded a share in almost $250,000 handed out to Coffs cultural organisations, as part of the first round of the NSW Government’s Regional Cultural Fund (RCF).

The popular biennial art award and exhibition was among 68 projects from 12 regions across NSW to share in close to $50million in the first round of grants.

Andrew Fraser MP, the Federal member for Coffs Harbour, said: “This is a fabulous outcome for the Coffs Coast.

“The Regional Cultural Fund is all about supporting projects – whether they be big or small – that will enhance the cultural richness and vibrancy of our regional communities.

“This has been a great win for our region and a great example of the community having a vision to establish a strong cultural identity.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said he was pleased to see such a vast array of exciting projects funded as part of round one of the new arts-specific fund.

“This fund is all about building on a rich arts and culture offering, and enhancing it – not only for those living in our regional towns, but for those who’ll flock to those towns as visitors.”

The Saltwater Freshwater Aboriginal Art Award and contemporary cultural objects exhibition began in 2015 to coincide with the 2015 Saltwater Freshwater Festival, expanding the public’s experience of this popular outdoor Mid North Coast cultural event through visual arts.

In 2017 it was curated by respected Aboriginal curator, writer and activist Djon Mundine, who also judged the award.  It included contemporary cultural objects, design pieces plus two short films by Aboriginal filmmaker, Darlene Johnson.

The 2019 exhibition, to be curated by independent Aboriginal curator Emily McDaniel, will open at the Glasshouse Regional Gallery in Port Macquarie, touring to the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, the Manning Regional Gallery with a special cultural closing at Wadjar Indigenous Art Gallery at Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Corindi, north of Coffs Harbour.

The event encourages a sense of ownership of mainstream gallery space by local Aboriginal people, instilling pride in having their culture not only promoted but celebrated by the wider community

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