Samstag Program Director retires

Samstag media release

Samstag Program Director retires

22 December 2009

The University of South Australia has announced the retirement of its inaugural, long-time Samstag Program Director, Ross Wolfe. Established by UniSA in 1992 through the famous bequest of American artist, Gordon Samstag, the 'Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarships' enable Australian artists to undertake further study overseas for extended, well-funded periods.

UniSA Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice President: International and Development, Dr Anna Ciccarelli, has paid tribute to Mr Wolfe's outstanding contribution as Director of the Samstag Program from 1992 to 2009.

"Ross Wolfe's commitment to the Samstag Program's development has been exceptional. He has skilfully grown the fledgling, philanthropic Samstag Scholarships to their present position of international prestige, and along the way 'Samstag' has become one of Australia's most recognised and respected visual arts brands," Dr Ciccarelli said.

Samstag Scholarships are considered a golden passport to success in the professional visual arts, and during Ross Wolfe's seventeen-year tenure at Samstag, significant numbers of the 118 Samstag alumni have progressed to careers of high achievement and celebrity. Samstag Scholars recently dominated Australia's official representation at the prestigious 2009 Venice Biennale, the most distinguished event in the international artworld calendar.

Mr Errol T. Silvestri, Senior Vice President of US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, Florida, USA – Trustee of the Samstag Fine Arts Trust – also spoke warmly of Mr Wolfe's valued role in successfully guiding the Samstag Program from its inception.

"From what we saw and heard on our recent visit to Adelaide, Ross Wolfe has been the ultimate steward of the Samstag Program," he said. "Anne and Gordon have to be smiling at the results of his efforts," Mr Silvestri declared.

Always a creative administrator, Ross Wolfe's final initiative as Samstag director was to negotiate an innovative cultural partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts' Visual Arts Board. The experimental funding partnership will see the Board's two annual studio residencies at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York (ISCP), offered to Australian artists, from 2010, as the Australia Council for the Arts and Anne & Gordon Samstag ISCP Residencies.

In 2007, the University honoured its distinguished benefactors by naming its new, award-winning art museum, the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art. Mr Wolfe will continue his relationship with the University in an adjunct role, through the Samstag Museum of Art.

For media information or comment, contact:
Erica Green, Director Samstag Museum of Art, 08 8302 0870