PGAV Event Archive

BOOK LAUNCH & PANEL DISCUSSION: A history of Victoria’s regional galleries, challenging perceptions

Art for the Country Book Launch at Mildura Arts Centre

BOOK LAUNCH & PANEL DISCUSSION: A history of Victoria’s regional galleries, challenging perceptions

Sunday 17 Mar 2019, 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Sunday 17 March 2019, 11:15am – 12:15pm
FREE - Bookings not required
Clemenger Theatre, NGV International 

To mark the launch of the book, Art for the Country: The story of Victoria’s regional art galleries at Melbourne Art Book Fair, join author Dr Donald Edgar OAM in discussion with Margaret Rich OAM, former Director of Geelong Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ballarat, Svetlana Karovich, former Director of Benalla Art Gallery and Rebecca Coates, Director, Shepparton Art Museum. The panel will be convened by Jane Clark, Senior Research Curator at MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart.

The discussion will draw out key themes in the new book Art for the Country – which traces the colourful history of Victoria’s regional art galleries, replete with political drama, directors vilified, battles with arts bureaucrats, generous benefactors and dedicated citizens fighting for a better deal for arts in everyday life.

Jane Clark 
Senior Research Curator, MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart

Dr Donald Edgar OAM
Author of Art for the Country

Margaret Rich OAM
Former Director, Geelong Gallery (1975-1980) & the Art Gallery of Ballarat (1980-2003)

Svetlana Karovich
Curator, Peter Mac Art Collection
Former Director, Benalla Art Gallery (1982-1988)

Rebecca Coates
Director, Shepparton Art Museum

Presenter Biographies

Jane Clark

Jane Clark is Senior Research Curator at MONA - the Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart. Jane joined MONA—Australia’s largest private museum—in 2007, during the initial planning phase, having been Curator of Major Special Exhibitions in both international and Australian art at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and then Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s in Australia.

Since MONA opened in 2011, she has worked on all of the major exhibitions and publications as a key member of the core creative team led by owner, David Walsh. She helped develop and write for the museum’s unique interpretive ‘electronic label’ device—the MONA O. She is usually based in Melbourne.

Rebecca Coates

Rebecca Coates is the Director of Shepparton Art Museum (SAM). Located in regional Victoria, SAM is recognised for its significant collection of Australian ceramics, notable historic works, and a growing collection of outstanding contemporary Australian art by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists.  Rebecca is an established curator, writer and lecturer, with over 25 years professional art museum and gallery experience in both Australia and overseas. She has a PhD in Art History and was previously a Lecturer at the University of Melbourne in Art History and Art Curatorship, where she is an Honorary Fellow. She speaks and writes regularly on contemporary art and theory, curatorial practice, and art in the public realm, and sits on a number of advisory boards.

Dr Donald Edgar, OAM
Donald Edgar is a sociologist and educator. His is the author of many books and papers on Australian society, social policy and community life, including this new book Art for the Country: The story of Victoria’s regional art galleries. Don taught sociology at Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Monash University and La Trobe University, and was founding Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Svetlana Karovich
Svetlana was the Director of Benalla Art Gallery from 1982 - 1988, during which time she developed its collection of contemporary Australia art and initiated a lively exhibition program for regional audiences. She was also a member of the Committee of Management of the then Ballarat based Regional Galleries Conservation Centre. From 1988 – 1992, Svetlana was Project Manager of the Australian Exhibitions Touring Agency (AETA), responsible for touring exhibitions to mainly regional galleries throughout Australia. In 1993 she established the art program at the Austin & Repatriation Medical Centre, developing exhibitions for hospital audiences, artists-in-residence and commissioning site specific artworks, a role she held for seven years. Presently, Svetlana is the Curator of the Peter Mac Art Collection which is owned by and displayed in the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Svetlana has a Bachelor of Art (Honours) from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies from Prahran College of Advanced Education (now Deakin University).

Margaret Rich, OAM
Margaret Rich worked in regional galleries from 1975 to 2003. First as the Director of the Geelong Art Gallery (1975 – 1980) and then as Director of the Art Gallery of Ballarat (1980 – 2003). During that time she served on many Boards and Committees at a state and federal level, as well as the Board of the Regional Galleries Association of Victoria.


When & Where

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday 17 March 2019, 11:15am – 12:15pm

Clemenger Theatre

NGV International 
180 St Kilda Road  
Melbourne 3000

Cost and Bookings

Bookings not required

Documentation Permission and usage Statement

The Public Galleries Association of Victoria promote its events to PGAV members and the public via its website, emails and social media. When we run PGAV events, photographs, video footage, and audio recordings may be taken. PGAV may use, reproduce, publish, or broadcast this content for promotional purposes. By entering a PGAV event, you consent to PGAV's use of the content in this way. If you do not wish to be photographed or filmed for these purposes, please advise a staff member at the time, or email anne.robertson@pgav.ngv.vic.gov.au with details of your concern. You may also request removal of content from the website or social media via this email address.

The launch is part of Melbourne Art Book Fair presented by the National Gallery of Victoria. 
Art for the Country has been made possible through the support of the Gordon Darling Foundation, 
Creative Victoria and the Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV). 
It is published by Australian Scholarly Publishing (ASP). 

Art for the Country Logo Block

Image: Courtesy Mildura Arts Centre.

The Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV) acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the lands where our office is located, and all Traditional Owners of country throughout Victoria and Australia. We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enduring traditions and continuing creative cultures. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

We are an LGBTQIA+ friendly organisation and celebrate cultural diversity.