Artbank's 2009 wrap up
2009 has been a year of milestones for Artbank. Our acquisitions budget totalled over one million dollars for the first time in the 2008/09 financial year, and the number of works in the collection has now passed the 10,000 mark. Artbank’s success is measured in part by the support it gives to artists through the purchase of their work, so these are both significant achievements, of which we as a team can be proud.
This year also saw changes to the Artbank advisory board, with the retirement of long term members Legh Davis and our Chair, Joe Gersh, both tireless supporters of the organisation who will be much missed. We are however very pleased to welcome the new Chair Michael Snelling, who brings a broad range of experience in the arts to the role.
We were excited to welcome the Arts Minister Peter Garrett to Artbank for the first time in October to launch our collection of video works. A new collecting area for Artbank, the event showcased the majority of the video works currently in the collection, with a number borrowed back from clients for the night. The Minister’s speech was enthusiastically received by the guests that included representatives from Government and the Arts sector as well as Artbank clients.
On other fronts the touring show BALGO: Contemporary Australian Art from the Balgo Hills, curated by Artbank from our collection on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, continues to entrance audiences across the Pacific, and will continue to do so throughout 2010.
Sustain, a joint exhibition between Artbank and the Australia Council for the Arts was on display at the Australia Council office in Surry Hills. Featuring some of Artbank’s most recent acquisitions, the exhibition showcased recent beneficiaries of Australia Council grants.
Works from the Artbank collection have also been included in a number of important exhibitions at state and regional institutions. Exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Making it new: focus on contemporary Australian art, featuring work by Ken Whisson, QUT Art Museum’s Footnotes, a solo show of Sebastian Di Mauro’s work, and Cathy Blanchflower’s solo show at the John Curtin Gallery, WA.
This year, as with any, we would like to thank our valued clients for their continued commitment throughout the year, without which we would not be able to achieve the level of support we give to the artists and the arts community as a whole.
Looking to the future, 2010 promises to be another big year for Artbank, with our 30th birthday as well as the 5th anniversary of the opening of our Melbourne showroom, both valid reasons for celebrations in which we hope you will join.