Arts Audiences at LAI Exhibitions

Winter can be an undesirable time of the year to leave the warmth of the home and venture out into the world to look at art, especially in the cooler climes of the Bendigo region.

Despite the drawn-out freeze this year, just two exhibitions by La Trobe Art Institute generated 10,760 visitations in a 10-week period.

LAI produced two major exhibitions in this period: Survival Bias at the LAI Gallery and Revealing Identity: The Collections of La Trobe University at Bendigo Art Gallery. The former featured high-calibre national artists working in contemporary art practice and the latter featuring works by iconic Australian artists , ethnographic treasures, teaching and archival resources from the University collections.

Revealing Identity was a hefty undertaking, executed across six gallery spaces and representing significant pieces in a variety of mediums and styles. Survival Bias brought artists together from Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne in an exploration of collections and audience engagement in institutional settings, delivered in the front gallery of LAI.
Audiences to both shows included high numbers of students from school groups which affords LAI a wonderful opportunity to communicate the value of tertiary education and extol the benefits of the La Trobe educational environment. Other visitors included visiting academics and artists from Europe and the United States, which helps to promote the international standing of the work being produced by La Trobe staff and the value of the cultural assets that the University has in its custodianship.

In addition to normal attendances, other programs were delivered that provided audiences with a richer engagement with the ideas and histories contained within the exhibitions and the artworks. These took the form of curator talks, educational programs for tertiary students and those seeking expanded industry knowledge, artist talks and panel discussions.

To deliver bodies of research-oriented work to such large numbers is an exciting aspect to the LAI offering. Stay tuned for more of our programming plans to be announced shortly for 2018.

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