Save Art in TAFE

One of the most striking moments in recent Aboriginal art history was the emergence of the Lockhart River Gang in the mid-90s.  Young people, not elders, pioneered a new style of art from remote Queensland that generated excitement and huge sales and arguably midwifed a rebirth of a viable Aboriginal art movement in Queensland.

They couldn’t have done it without the education that received in the TAFE system.

On September 11 the NSW government announced that it would stop funding art education in TAFE, leaving 4000 students without access to finishing their courses in 2013.

TAFE Art courses are the main provider of art education in NSW, with many prominent artists getting their first ‘hands on’ training in TAFE. The withdrawal of funding will mean that only the wealthy will be able to afford private art education and NSW will suddenly find it no longer has emerging artists with skills coming through.

A rally outside Parliament House is being organised for Wednesday 14 November from 12 until 2 pm. Supporters will be forming a human sign along the length of Macquarie Street, made up of pre-prepared painting canvases.

If you can be part of the rally, visit Save TAFE for further details.  If you live in NSW, sign the petition.

Save TAFE!  For all of us.

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3 Responses to Save Art in TAFE

  1. shawjonathan says:

    To be fair to the NSW government, Will, they have pledged to continue funding fine art education for Aboriginal students. It’s a strange, pledge, though, given that it’s hard to imagine how one can continue without the support of the other

    • Will says:

      As I read the government’s white paper, they want to invest in education for jobs. And the Art Student nailed it in her speech when she said that the government believes that art education for non-Indigenous people attracts nothing more than bored middle-aged housewives. On the other hand, while I applaud their decision to continue providing support to Indigenous students, I find that decision still smacks of a kind of primitivism: we all know that art is about the only things those people are good at, don’t we? Misogyny, sexism, and racism. Quite the trifecta.

  2. SaveTAFE says:

    Unfortunately, the charging of commercial fees (of $6000 – $10 000 per course) will see a dramatic reduction in the number of students taking art, which will result in the closure of art departments and whole campuses which have a large art focus. If the art schools aren’t open, there isn’t anywhere for Aboriginal students to continue their funded studies.

    Thanks for supporting our campaign by helping us spread the word!

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