Following on from the Visual Arts Survey conducted via the Office of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island (OCKI) during February 2017, a Visual Arts Workshop was held at the KI Yacht Club on Thursday, March 30, 2017.
About 35 artists attended, and the meeting was addressed by Nick Hannaford (Project Manager of the Survey) along with Commissioner for KI, Wendy Campana. Nick presented survey findings, and his overview concluded with a series of recommendations.
During the workshop, those recommendations were grouped into four main headings – resources, infrastructure, promotion/sales/events, and training/professional development. After a group discussion, participants identified that two priorities had emerged. One was the appointment of an Arts and Cultural Facilitator on the island and the other, the provision of arts infrastructure, such as shared spaces.
The meeting resolved that OCKI would form a committee to progress some of the priorities identified, and also OCKI would work with Council to prepare a funding application to Country Arts SA for the appointment of a Facilitator.
After the meeting, several arts groups provided support documentation to accompany the application, with the directors of Fine Art KI stating, “We believe the position offers a unique opportunity to unite and foster collaboration ...for individuals, groups and businesses”.
KI Art Society said that what is now needed is, “For a paid designated officer to provide overarching facilitation and support of arts and culture on the island”.
The application to Country Arts SA was submitted, but following a special Council meeting, the KI Council voted not to proceed at this time.
"Council decided not to support the funding for the arts coordinator but has agreed to review its decision periodically and to maintain its general support for the arts community through the subsidies it currently provides,” Mayor Peter Clements said.
“The survey work undertaken by the Commissioner's office within the arts community was welcomed by Council and was indicative of the solidarity required for Council to make funding decisions outside of the standard grants program. Unfortunately the late presentation of the submission would have required Council to stretch its 2017/18 budget to accommodate this request.”
The representative committee that was decided upon to progress priorities is going ahead, and is calling for nominations from interested artists, including representatives from SALA, KI Arts Society, Artists Collective, a community gallery, a commercial gallery, TKI, artists (full time, part time and casual), KI Council, Country Arts SA, Nick Hannaford (in his role as arts representative on KI Industry and Brand Alliance) and someone from ArtFeast or Easter Art events, and further reporting on the outcomes will take place in due course.
Those who completed the Arts Survey went into a draw to win one of three $50 Eckersley’s vouchers; won by Raewyn Godfery, Antien Furstner and Catherine Murphy.