Thursday, May 21, 2009

Directors appointed to the new National Art School Board

Thursday 21 May 2009

The Premier and Minister for the Arts, Nathan Rees today announced the appointment of six directors who will form the board of the newly-independent National Art School.

Mr Rees made the announcement during the school’s annual graduation ceremony where he also presented a National Art School Fellowship to one of Australia’s best-known sculptors, Bert Flugelman, himself a graduate 60 years ago.

“This is a historic day for the National Art School which fought for and has achieved independence – you have new leadership, a new structure and a future that is assured.

“The members of the board, approved by the NSW Cabinet this week, have enormous knowledge and experience in arts, finance, education and heritage.

“The chair will be one of the State’s most gifted and experienced cultural leaders, Peter Watts AM, who for 27 years was the director of the Historic Houses Trust of NSW.

“Joining him will be will be Mark Tedeschi QC, Sandra Yates AO, Hon. John Aquilina MP, the Director General of the Department of Arts, Sport and Recreation Carol Mills and Mr Peter Riordan, the Deputy Director General of the Department of Education and Training.

“One of the board’s earliest tasks will be guiding the school in its transition with the help of a strong business plan,” he added.

The Minister for Education and Training, Ms Verity Firth, said the government had consulted widely to develop the best possible operating model for the National Art School.

“In January, I was pleased to announce the School’s new director, Professor Anita Taylor, who commenced at the school in May.

“This highly skilled and experienced board will help the director to lead the School through this new phase of its history,” said Ms Firth.

The three year appointments take effect from 1 June 2009.

Presenting the fellowship to Mr Flugelman, the Premier said Mr Flugelman had made an enormous contribution to the visual arts in Australia and had been a great teacher and mentor to young sculptors. He had also shown unwavering support for the National Art School.

The National Arts School operates from the former Old Darlinghurst Gaol and uses a unique atelier or studio method of training, with teachers who are practising artists.

Under the new arrangement, the National Arts School is no longer overseen by the NSW Department of Education and Training.

Media: Vivienne Skinner 02 9228 5239, 0411 206 224