Class of 2004 Samstag Scholarships

EMBARGOED - (For release on Friday, 31 October, 2003)


Mr Matthew Collings - the British artworld personality who is in Adelaide to present a free public lecture - will today announce the recipients of six, 2004 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarships, in a small ceremony at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

The prestigious Samstag Scholarships are renowned as a gilt-edged passport to visibility and success in the professional visual arts. Awarded annually by the University of South Australia on behalf of the American artist, Gordon Samstag's trustee, the scholarships - now in their twelfth year - have enabled almost one hundred Australian artists to study overseas for lengthy periods of time, with substantial financial support.

The six new Samstag Scholars who will take up their scholarships in 2004 are: Julie Henderson and Tim Sterling (South Australia); Guy Benfield, Louisa Bufardeci and Simone Slee (Victoria); and TV Moore (NSW).

Each artist will receive, firstly, a twelve months living allowance of US$28,000 (approximately $40,000 Australian) and additionally, travel expenses and the cost of institutional study fees, commonly in excess of $30,000 a year at leading international art schools, the popular destinations for Samstag artists.

According to Samstag director, Ross Wolfe, the true dimensions of Gordon Samstag's vision are "inestimable", and will only grow clear, with time. For example, he says it has now become more obvious, with hindsight, that sending Australian artists off on well-funded, educational adventures overseas - while also requiring their commitment to full-time institutional study - is a particularly wise policy. "Mr Samstag's scheme has proved quite shrewd", he says, "because it has securely embedded these emerging artists in the creative milieu of an art school, surrounded by mentors, support systems and colleagues, whereas the usual destination of Australian artists heading overseas these days, is an overseas studio - by comparison an isolated and disconnected experience", he says.

This year's Samstag catalogue introduces a small innovation, the DVD insert. With half of the 2004 scholarship recipients presenting performative work in video format, the DVD acknowledges the growing shift towards technology-based mediums, so widespread among a new generation of visual artists. And bringing insightful reflections on all this is poet and visual arts writer, Ken Bolton, the 2004 Samstag catalogue essayist (and Adelaide icon). Poetry and art are old friends, and the relationship between artist and poet, venerable. The Samstag Program is delighted to give this tradition life, through such a special voice as Ken's.

Judges for the 2002 Samstag Scholarships were Professor Kay Lawrence, head of the South Australian School of Art, John Barbour, South Australian artist and a senior lecturer at the School of Art, and Lauren Berkowitz, nationally renowned artist based in Victoria.


Information on Gordon Samstag and Matthew Collings is attached.

For further information contact - Ross Wolfe, Director, Samstag Program

Samstag Program
University of South Australia

Phone: (08) 8302 0869
Fax: (08) 8302 0866