Best Arts Program
Curating projects in a way that preserves individual artistic vision but also adds power to its message by rendering it part of a whole, takes creativity and a deft touch. Each of these nominees’ curatorial efforts have challenged, immersed and delighted us this past year, yielding programs that became greater than the sum of their parts.
Boundless Festival at Bankstown Arts Centre
Boundless Festival is a festival of Indigenous and culturally diverse writers. Featuring free performances, readings, panel discussions and an exhibition, Boundless Festival created an environment to unpack the pressing issues of our time and celebrate the exceptional talent of Indigenous and culturally diverse writers. The festival was presented by Writing NSW and Bankstown Arts Centre in association with Sweatshop. This year Boundless Festival included conversations around the revival and reclamation of Indigenous languages, stories of growing up in Australia and discussion of how these stories can re-shape the world we live in, workshops on how to navigate grants and finding your audience, and the exhibition Mother Tongues exploring language and identity.
Photo: Liza Moscatelli
Cement Fondu is an evolving arts space presenting a diverse year-round program of art and events. Dedicated to new creative possibilities and greater understanding, they aim to serve a collective curiosity toward each other and the matters of our time. This year Cement Fondu have presented an array of group and solo exhibitions bringing international and local artists into conversation, these have included This Is Your Horizon curated by Talia Smith presenting works by Pacific heritage artists from Australia and New Zealand and The Ropes bringing together America’s Adrian Piper and Australia’s Amrita Hepi.
Photo: Tim Da Rin
Prototype is a new platform for bold video art. Commissioning new works from daring voices in the art and film worlds, Prototype delivers these works of art and film direct to your inbox. Using the email inbox as a new place to engage with experimental art, Prototype champions a different way of seeing culture beyond cinemas and galleries curated and made from the heart. For Prototypes first season in 2019 they commissioned and presented new works by Sarah Hadley, Cloudy Rhodes, Tiyan Baker, Conor Bateman, Jason Phu, Talia Smith, James Nguyen, Gabriella Hirst, Tina Havelock Stevens, Alena Lodkina and Hannah Brontë.
Photo: Hannah Brontë
opnsrc.co presents – culture: knockout at CPAC
opnsrc.co presents – culture: knockout at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre celebrates Western Sydney talent for the area, by the area. culture: knockout was a three-part tournament held by opnsrc.co consisting of all-styles dance. From beatboxing to break dancing, culture: knockout aimed to unify the culture and communities within Western Sydney and gear it towards a fun and supportive movement. culture: knockout was presented as a part of the Casula Powerhouse ‘CPAC Live’ series. This year Culture Knockout was judged by the likes of Arisse, Warlock and Zman and features DJ’s Naiki and Gibrillah.
Photo: Jade Damico
Running Dog is an online arts platform that is changing the game in how we write and read about art. Led by Editor Naomi Riddle, Running Dog champions experimentation, playfulness and rigour in contemporary arts writing. Their articles are filled with nuance and contemplation, publishing weekly articles about exhibitions and events taking place in Sydney and regional New South Wales and demonstrating a commitment to supporting the work of emerging and established artists. This year Running Dog has founded a First Nations Emerging Critic mentorship, established residencies for poets, presented a myriad of critical engaged events and talks all the while publishing some of Sydney’s most exciting writing.
Photo courtesy of Running Dog