Artists out in force for SALA

A record 9167 artists of all levels will take part in the annual SALA Festival next month, with the 2021 program out this week.

The open-access event is celebrating its 24th year and will comprise more than 600 exhibitions across Adelaide and regional SA in venues including galleries, shops, wineries, community spaces and cafes.

SALA CEO Kate Moskwa says the 2021 festival has also attracted a particularly high number of group shows.

“It has been so encouraging to see artists continue to challenge themselves and create such inspiring work after the year we’ve had. The interest demonstrates the importance of visual arts in connecting communities and developing support networks in tricky times, and points to the resilience and flexibility of South Australia’s visual artists.”

Premier Steven Marshall will officially open the festival on Friday, July 30, at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

New era for Tutti Arts

Award-winning theatre designer and collaborator Gaelle Mellis has been appointed the new artistic director of Tutti Arts, as founding AD Pat Rix prepares to retire after 24 years at the helm of the South Australian disability arts organisation.

Gaelle Mellis. Photo courtesy SA Film Corporation

Mellis has extensive experience in the arts and culture sector and has been recognised with the Geoff Crowhurst Memorial Award at SA’s 2020 Ruby Awards, as well as the prestigious 2020 Australia Council National Arts and Disability Award for an Established Artist. In addition to working as a designer on productions for many performing arts companies, she was a co-founder and creative director of Adelaide-based Access2Arts and is currently the disability screen strategy executive at the South Australian Film Corporation.

“I am excited for the future of Tutti Arts, its extraordinary artists and the role I can play,” she says.

“I believe in disability-led practice and that disabled people must be the producers of our own image and storytellers of our own lives. I will support and encourage Tutti artists to be authentic, bold, curious and fierce in everything they undertake.”

Tutti Arts notes that the appointment heralds a new era as it moves towards realising its goal to be a disability-led organisation, with Rix adding that Mellis’s “lived experience of disability and her capacity to advocate will be invaluable to Tutti”.

Creative Investment Fellowships

Emerging creatives are invited to apply for Helpmann Academy’s Creative Investment Fellowships, which offer support of up to $10,000 for significant professional development opportunities and projects.

The fellowships are supported by the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation and offer individual artists or collectives the opportunity to undertake tailored professional development programs, larger-scale projects or a combination of both (including things such as residencies, specialist training, the development and/or exhibition/performance of new work, touring and recording). Applications close on August 23, with criteria and other information available on the Helpmann Academy website.

Previous recipients include ceramicist Sam Gold, filmmaker Tamara Hardman and a theatre collective of university graduates including Mary Angley (pictured above in her 2021 Adelaide Fringe show Grief Lightning: A Satire in 78 Slides).

Do You See What I See?

OzAsia Festival artistic director Annette Shun Wah will be the inaugural keynote speaker at a new annual lecture series presented by the Adelaide Festival Centre seeking to address “the arts conversations that matter in contemporary Australia”.

Named after arts advocate and the first CEO of the Adelaide Festival Centre Anthony Steel, the Anthony Steel Talk is a free event at the Dunstan Playhouse on July 22 and will be hosted by current Festival Centre CEO and artistic director Douglas Gautier, with a preface by Steel.

Shun Wah (above), who recently released the first taste of her inaugural OzAsia Festival program and is also AD of Contemporary Asian Australian Performance, will address the topic Do You See What I See?

“The tumultuous times the arts and society have endured over the past year have led to a significant re-thinking about things previously taken for granted. The pace of change has accelerated with movements such as #MeToo, Black Lives Matter and “cancel culture” all calling for meaningful shifts in ideas and policy to see the world from multiple perspectives.

“What have the arts NOT seen, what has become apparent, and how will these shifts in perspective impact the contribution that art makes to our community?”

The event will also include a Q&A discussion. Although it is free, registrations (here) are required.

Green Room is a regular column for InReview, providing quick news for people interested, or involved, in South Australian arts and culture.

Get in touch by emailing us at editorial@solsticemedia.com.au

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This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.