La Trobe University has announced major plans to establish Australia’s premier regional art school in regional Victoria.
Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar, today announced La Trobe was strengthening its commitment to visual arts studies in regional Victoria and forging stronger links with local artists to establish the La Trobe Art Institute, based in Bendigo. Visual arts courses at the Bendigo and Mildura campuses will also be refreshed.
‘Bendigo is already a powerhouse of artistic creativity, not only in Victoria but also across Australia. We hope the creation of this Institute will further build on the already strong reputation that Bendigo has as a regional centre of excellence in the arts,’ Professor Dewar said.
‘The institute will aspire to be the premier regional art school in Australia that embraces an outward looking perspective capturing both international thinking and a regional approach to the arts.
‘We believe Bendigo has the potential to be a truly great university city along the lines of those you find in Europe and the USA and initiatives such as the new Art Institute will go a long way toward Bendigo realising that potential.
‘This is part of our commitment as one of the largest tertiary education providers in regional Australia.’
The La Trobe Art Institute will aim to bring together institutions such as the Bendigo Art Gallery, La Trobe University’s Visual Arts Centre, Bendigo Senior Secondary College and the Bendigo Institute of TAFE to develop a coordinated approach to visual arts teaching and arts practice.
It will offer resources and leadership in a collaborative venture to coordinate regional arts training, promotion, employment, and overall development.
La Trobe will appoint a new Director to establish the La Trobe Art Institute. It has also appointed a Visual Arts Advisory Board to oversee the University’s renewed focus on regional visual arts. The new Board includes the Director of the NGV and La Trobe Alumnus Tony Ellwood, and the Director of Bendigo Art Gallery, Karen Quinlan. Both have been appointed as Adjunct Professors at the University.
Senior Manager Regional Operations at the Bendigo campus Rob Stephenson said consultation had now begun within the University and the region’s arts community to plan for the Institute as well as the development of a new curriculum for La Trobe University’s regional visual arts programs.
‘Regional Victoria has a really strong arts community and La Trobe is keen to play a major role in building on this strength and creating opportunity for our students and arts practitioners,’ Mr Stephenson said.
‘We will be working with the existing Visual Arts Faculty members and all the key arts leaders in Bendigo and Mildura to shape our visual arts curriculum for the years to come.
’Initiatives such as the La Trobe Art Institute will certainly help us to ensure there is a strong relationship between the local community and major art-related businesses,’ he said.
The new curriculum for La Trobe’s regional arts programs will commence in 2014, following a comprehensive consultation and design period.
Students currently enrolled in the Visual Arts Program have been assured that all subjects will be available to them until the completion of their chosen course. It is expected that many new subjects will be offered under the curriculum renewal plans.