THERE are nine members that make up the SAM Foundation board, with each of them having their own rhyme and reason to wanting to see the new SAM built for the local community. The Adviser caught up with committee member, Carrillo Gantner for the second of a nine part series where we hear from those who perhaps have the deepest connection with the project.
Carrillo said, “The evolving development of the new SAM is a very positive story for Shepparton.
“I think a new SAM is important because, while a major arts facility like this can’t solve all of Shepparton’s issues, it will certainly contribute to the solution of many of them. It will give a great sense of pride to the town and the whole Goulburn Valley area, and it will be an important educational resource for students at all levels.
“Being able to display the museum’s outstanding collection of ceramics, that traces the history from the convict days right to today, will be something quite unique and special.
“The museum will also own a very fine Indigenous collection. I am donating about six to eight works each year and, if I don’t live long enough, will be leaving the remainder of my collection in my will. The wonderful new SAM director, Dr Rebecca Coats is also adding to this through the collection of other local Indigenous artworks, so that the Indigenous people of the area will have pride that their work is included.
“It will also offer a place where Shepparton’s multi-cultural history will be celebrated. There are many multi-generational families in the Goulburn Valley region from across many cultures including Greeks, Macedonians, Turks, Chinese, Italians, and also more recent migrants from the horn of Africa, Ethiopia and Sudan …My hope is that new SAM will tell some of these important stories.
“New SAM will enhance Shepparton as a tourist destination and attract around it, as other galleries have done in regional areas, new creative industries such as arty coffee shops, commercial galleries, workshops and graphic design. It will, I think, create new employment opportunities, draw new people to the region and stir the imaginations of young people who will then want to stay in the region.
“The site of new SAM is wonderful. No one is going to be able to go past without going “Wow”. It’s going to be a beacon for the town and I’m sure the town will be immensely proud of it.”