OCTOBER AT VERGE ::
Main Gallery :: ANNUAL USU VERGE AWARDS 2016
Side Gallery :: #SOSSCA
OPENING OCTOBER 11, CONTINUING TO OCTOBER 22
Verge Awards give student artists from all University of Sydney campuses and faculties a chance to expose their work to industry professionals and the local community. The USU Verge Awards recognise creativity across a number of disciplines and styles. Applicants are judged by both industry professionals and fellow students, with the winners receiving a total of $5,000 in prize money.
Entries for 2016 have closed. All entries are judged by alumni and industry professionals. A shortlist of works will be exhibited at Verge Gallery during Verge Festival, and winners are announced at our Awards Ceremony in October.
Fine Art: 2D (Photography, Print, Painting, Drawing)
Fine Art: 3D (Sculpture, Installation)
Fine Art: 4D (New Media, Video, Audio)
Side Gallery :: #SOSSCA
– a retrospective of the artworks and materials produced in the fight to save Sydney College of the Arts. This exhibition recognises and documents visually the fight to Save Sydney College of the Arts by the Students and staff of SCA that began in June this year when a merger with UNSW School of Art and Design was first announced.
It has been a troubled year for the visual arts in NSW, with the on again, off again merger of Sydney College of the Arts and the threatened closure of National Art School in East Sydney.
In November last year, University of Sydney announced plans to ‘gradually over the next three years’ move SCA out of the historic Callan Park campus. Then in a surprising turn in June 2016, Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence announced that University of Sydney and UNSW had signed a Heads of Agreement for students at the college at Callan Park to transfer to one of the courses offered by UNSW Art & Design in Paddington. What was touted as a merger was really the closure of SCA.
SCA students were quick to react, forming a united front and protesting the decision in direct actions that included the storming of the Sydney University Senate, and the SOS red cape vigil at the Art Gallery of NSW on the day the winner of the Archibald Prize was announced. The sustained pressure, along with high profile support from SCA alumni, politicians and arts patrons, forced University of Sydney into a hasty back down, and the UNSW merger was cancelled.
As an alternative, the University proposed a move of SCA to its main campus at Camperdown, although the ‘resource-intensive mediums’ of ceramics, glassmaking and jewelry were to be jettisoned and 60 percent of academic staff terminated. The University also suspended the intake of new Bachelor of Visual Arts, Masters and PhD candidates in 2017.
Once again, students responded, this time by occupying the SCA administration building and ousting Dean Colin Rhodes. That occupation is in its fourth week and is the longest-running university occupation since the 1970s. The fight for SCA and recognition of the value that art makes to Australian culture continues.
Curated by Dr. Barbara Doran and Dr. Katie L. Williams (SCA Alumni).