Director appointed to lead Art Institute

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar today announced that accomplished artist and senior university lecturer Neil Fettling had been appointed as Director of the newly created La Trobe Art Institute.

Neil Fettling, Director, La trobe Art InstituteThe University announced in March its plan to establish the institute as Australia’s premier regional art school in Victoria.

Professor Dewar said Mr Fettling was an ideal candidate for the role, having lived and worked in country Victoria for much of his career. He was born in Castlemaine and gained his first qualification, a Diploma of Fine Art, at the former Bendigo Institute of Technology.

‘Neil is an excellent choice as the inaugural Director of the La Trobe Art Institute and brings a unique set of talents and experience to this role,’ Professor Dewar said.

‘He has consistently demonstrated a strong regional vision and a long standing commitment to regional Victoria. As a practicing artist and academic he has a detailed understanding of theVisual ArtsandGraphic DesignProgram taught across theBendigoandMilduracampuses. In addition, he has a strong understanding of international arts practice and institutional enhancement, which will be vital in his new role.’

The institute will be administered as part of theHumanities and Social Sciences faculty.Executive Dean Professor Tim Murraysaid La Trobe would strengthen its commitment to visual arts studies in regional Victoria and forge stronger links with local artists.

‘The La Trobe Art Institute will forge closer links between institutions such as theBendigo Art Gallery,La Trobe University’s Visual Arts Centre,Bendigo Senior Secondary Collegeand theBendigo Institute of TAFE,’ Professor Murray said.

‘Neil has an enviable history of building enduring partnerships with other regional tertiary institutions. His leadership and experience will be vital to the success of the new La Trobe Art Institute.’

Mr Fettling said he looked forward to taking on the new role.

‘It is an honour to be given the opportunity to lead the new La Trobe Art Institute and be given the exciting task of developing Australia’s pre-eminent regional arts school,’ Mr Fettling said.

‘The launch of the institute has already had great support from regional arts industry and community organisations. I look forward to collaborating with this dynamic and creative network to strengthen an already energetic and vital contemporary arts culture across regional Victoria.’

Mr Fettling has been an exhibiting artist since 1977, with numerous solo and group exhibitions held throughout Europe, USA, Asia and Australia.

He is a senior lecturer and coordinator of the School of Visual Arts and Design and Campus Director at La Trobe University’s Mildura Campus, has a Master of Arts by Research from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and is currently undertaking a PhD at Monash University.

Mr Fettling will relocate to Bendigo to take up the position in August. Arrangements will be in place for leadership of the Mildura campus by the time he relocates.

ENDS

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