(EMBARGOED - For release on Friday, November 9, 2001)
SAMSTAG'S INTERNATIONAL EMISSARIES
The most eagerly sought awards for overseas study in the visual arts have been announced by the University of South Australia. Eight artists from around Australia are recipients of the prestigious 2002 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarships, now in their tenth year and widely recognised as the most valuable of their kind offered in this country.
The announcement coincides with celebrations for the University's own tenth anniversary year. Established in 1991 just as the remarkable Samstag bequest was publicly revealed, the University subsequently has facilitated an award which - as one prominent critic recently described it - "will do more to put emerging Australian artists on the world stage than any other".
Sadly - following the terrible events of September 11 - that world has changed, something which Samstag director Ross Wolfe believes highlights the vital cultural role of the Samstag Scholars. "If you see liberal culture as one of the great pillars of western civilization", Wolfe suggests", "then it is clear that Samstag Scholars have become international emissaries of that civilization". "More than ever", he says, "the world needs the vision and progressive cultural values of artists, not to mention their dreams and intuition".
The eight new Samstag Scholars who will take up their scholarships in 2002, are Darren Siwes (South Australia), Renarto Colangelo and Daniel von Sturmer (Victoria), Annie Hogan (Queensland), Mathieu Gallois and Astra Howard (NSW), Timothy Horn (Canberra) and Sarah Elson (Western Australia). Each artist will receive, firstly, a twelve months living allowance of US$28,000 (approximately $55,000 Australian) and additionally, travel expenses and the cost of institutional study fees, commonly in excess of US$20,000 a year at American university art schools, a popular destination for Samstag artists.
The 2002 Samstag catalogue includes an engaging essay on the work of scholarship recipients by Dr Russell Smith, who teaches in twentieth-century literary and cultural studies at Adelaide University. In his essay, Smith asks us "How is it that art is always ahead of us? How is it that artists, who work so slowly, with such care and patience, who sleep in, and can't start, and don't know where they're going, always arrive before us?"
Judges for the 2002 Samstag Scholarships were Professor Noel Frankham, head of the South Australian School of Art, Olga Sankey, South Australian artist and senior lecturer at the School of Art and Derek Kreckler, nationally regarded performance and multimedia artist based in Western Australia.
Information on Gordon Samstag and his historic in-perpetuity bequest is attached.
For further information, including transparencies of artworks by Samstag Scholars
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