Class of 1999 Samstag Scholarships

(For release on November 12, 1998)


Eight artists from around Australia will be smiling today, when the University of South Australia presents the 1999 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarships.

The prestigious Samstag Scholarships are by far the richest awards offered in Australia for visual artists to study overseas. This is the seventh group of scholarship recipients announced since the Samstag bequest was revealed in 1991. A total of 54 scholarships, worth over $2.5 million, have now been awarded.

Announcing the awards, University of South Australia Vice Chancellor, Professor Denise Bradley, applauded the Samstag Scholarship's growing international reputation for excellence. She described Samstag Scholars as first-class ambassadors for Australian culture and education who bring back with them to Australia influential professional links and a direct knowledge of international visual art culture. "We see evidence, constantly", she said, "that they contribute a refreshing difference to the overseas institutions in which they enrol. These institutions clearly value the stimulus of bright Australian perspectives, which are invariably well-informed, mature and independent".

The eight Samstag Scholars are Kristian Burford, Nicholas Folland, Paul Hoban and Deborah Paauwe (South Australia), Stephen Bram (Victoria), Peter Alwast (Queensland), Matthew Warren (Tasmania) and Hanh Ngo (Canberra). They will share well over $400,000 in stipends, return airfares and institutional fees, for twelve months study overseas in the visual arts commencing next year.

1999 Samstag catalogue essayist, Los Angeles-based writer and educator M.A.Greenstein, suggests that this year's Samstag artists "summarise some of the strongest globalizing tendencies of twentieth-century artistic production ......from the high and wry rationalism of neo-modernist abstraction and conceptualist punning to the messy irrationalities of painterly abstraction and computer generated video performance production."

Writing as "a Yank looking down underneath", she declares the work of Samstag recipients to be "shrewd and once reassuring and appropriately unnerving, as if the whole group was perched on a ledge of one set of histories, overlooking another that has yet to begin."

This year's Samstag selection committee included exciting young Brisbane-based artist, Anne Wallace, herself a high-achieving former Samstag Scholar, who studied at the Slade in 1994/95. Ms Wallace's paintings are currently to be seen in the exhibition Primavera, at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art.


For further information, including transparencies of Samstag artists' work contact:

Samstag Program
University of South Australia

Phone: (08) 8302 0865
Fax: (08) 8302 0866