VALUABLE STINT: Indigenous artist Karla Dickens at work in Grafton Regional Gallery's studio during her 2010 artist's residency.
VALUABLE STINT: Indigenous artist Karla Dickens at work in Grafton Regional Gallery's studio during her 2010 artist's residency. Adam Hourigan

Artist program to link to gallery theme

WITH a huge indigenous art program for 2017, Grafton Regional Gallery is following through with its Artist in Residence opportunity.

This year it is calling for applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from around Australia to apply for the two Clarence Valley residencies scheduled this year, the first in July and another the second half of 2017.

Gallery director Jude McBean said few Aboriginal artists had applied for previous residencies and this was a great way to encourage more with the gallery's focus on contemporary Aboriginal art this year.

Some of that program includes two new exhibitions and two from the collection with indigenous themes as well as a student outreach program that will start when school returns.

"We are also holding an Aboriginal Cultural Day during Jacaranda Week and the biennial Clarence Valley Indigenous Art Award and launch publication of the Lindt Research Project will take place at the end of year," Ms McBean said.

"The first residency also occurs during NAIDOC Week so the artist will be invited to participate in that."

Ms McBean said residencies encouraged artists from other areas to explore the region and share their practice.

"We prefer artists from elsewhere so our local artists can have contact with and receive professional development from someone from outside the area," she said.

The artist works from Grafton for a month and is provided with an artist fee, accommodation and studio space. The artist is responsible for their transport to and from Grafton.

Ms McBean said the gallery's artist in residence program has gone from strength to strength with well-known national artists living in Grafton working on projects.

"The program has really blossomed in the past few years. We always seek applications from artists who offer activities to engage with our community,"she said.

Last year Todd Fuller and Gosia Wlodarczak were the gallery's resident artists. Mr Fuller presented workshops for high school students on digital animation while Ms Wlodarczak drew on the Caringa window in Shoppingworld's Link Arcade among other contributions.

"It really is a fantastic way to concentrate on your artistic practice, work on projects and interact with our community, all within the supportive environment of the gallery and the Clarence Valley," Ms McBean said.

To apply for the 2017 Grafton Regional Gallery Artist in Residence contact the gallery for an application form and further information. Applications are due Monday, January 30.

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