SAM welcomes the community at last

DYNAMIC COMMISSIONS... SAM's Dr Rebecca Coates discussing the inaugural Art Wall commission on the fourth floor, created by celebrated Melbourne artist, Louisa Bufardeci.

SHEPPARTON Art Museum’s much anticipated grand opening benefited from the easing of restrictions over the weekend, pulling in a massive crowd to the new facility.

Artistic director, Dr Rebecca Coates expressed her excitement that SAM could open without restrictions and called the development of SAM an incredible journey worth reflecting upon.

“Shepparton is a really unique part of Australia and I’ve said that SAM is a part of a re-thinking of Shepparton and regional Australia and changing an agenda through arts and culture through the works that artists and creatives and a shared vision.”

“It was conceived as a project that would bring people together throughout culture”
SAM is thought to be a major reconciliation project that will foster closeness and new cultural opportunities for all people in the community.

Belinda Briggs, SAM’s indigenous art curator, commented that she had never been to an art gallery like SAM growing up and that having this landmark ‘land art’ facility with a purpose-made children’s space and community gallery, will unlock creativity across the region and give budding artists the opportunity to connect and create.

At SAM, there are nine free exhibitions, four new artwork commissions, featuring more than 200 artists, and 160 Indigenous and First Nations artwork on display, including SAM’s nationally recognised ceramics collection and the nation’s most significant collection of Southeast Australian Aboriginal art.

CEO, Peter Harriott said, “I would welcome everybody here because it is going to be a fantastic learning experience. It’s a mix of the Kaiela Arts, so rich in culture, Aboriginal culture that goes back 60,000 years, and a mix of modern art and everything in between.”

“It’s a big investment but I believe it’s going to be worthwhile and pay back many times.”
Shepparton Art Museum is open Monday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm every day including public holidays with the exception of Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday. Admission is free.