by Patsy Hely, President
It has been a busy few months for TACA. Firstly there was the migration to Adelaide for the Australian Ceramic Triennale, then we were busy writing letters about the woeful cuts to TAFE ceramics and visual arts areas and last week a panel met to consider the entries for The Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships.
The Triennale was great. It was terrific to catch up with friends and colleagues, to see so many exhibitions, and to hear such diverse presentations. TACA was able to celebrate the 50th continuous year of publication of the Journal in front of a large national audience, firstly in the main auditorium and then again at the opening of the National Graduate Students Exhibition. There we cut a ‘Journal’ cake and to further mark it we awarded an annual TACA membership to each of the students exhibiting. The Members’ Vase Show created a lot of interest and good sales, as did the TACA stand. The Graduate Student Research Panel TACA sponsored was successful with four papers very ably showcasing the depth of research being undertaken at Masters and PhD level at a number of institutions nationally. We hope to be able to continue to sponsor such a panel at future Triennales.
TACA organised a meeting between various State organisations and interested parties to call for nominations for hosting the next two Australian Ceramics Triennales. Janet DeBoos from Canberra had made a bid for hosting the 2015 event at a meeting during the 2009 Triennale and this was confirmed. Tasmania has expressed interest in hosting the 2018 event. Chair of the ACT 2009 committee, Merran Esson, spoke at the meeting advising that the Committee wished to make funds remaining from the 2009 event available to help support future Triennales. This has since been confirmed and the funds will shortly be transferred to TACA for management and disbursement; the fund will be known as the Australian Ceramics Triennale Seeding Fund. This is a very generous contribution and it will be much appreciated by those organising future Triennales.
The call for expressions of interest for the 2014 Members’ Exhibition, the course of objects; the fine lines of enquiry, has been published in the recent issue of the Journal. The curator, Brisbane-based Susan Ostling, is breaking from past tradition in not setting a theme. Rather, her aim is to ‘take the pulse of recent ceramic work that pursues particular lines of inquiry, or explores or embodies pertinent ideas’.
Thanks to everyone who has rallied to protest against the recent TAFE cuts. The announced cuts are most dismaying and a blow to the creative arts. Many of you, like me, will have studied at TAFE and taught there; generations of ceramicists have learnt and honed their skills there. But apart from the effect it has on our field, TAFE has performed an important role in the community more broadly and it is important that this be recognised and the cuts fought against.
Last week Stephen Benwell (Victoria), Ben Richardson (Tasmania), Vicki Grima (NSW) and I (ACT) considered the 35 applications for this year’s Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships and we will be announcing the successful recipients in the coming week.
At the first TACA meeting in 2013 the Committee will be focussing on exhibition planning for the next 3 years. If you have any comments or feedback to give about this please contact me, or Vicki Grima at TACA office.
This will be the final President’s Report for 2012 so I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and peaceful end to the year. In my report from the Annual General Meeting I gave thanks on behalf of the Association to all of those who work so hard to keep it, and the Journal, running smoothly. To close for this year I’d like to reiterate this appreciation: My thanks go to TACA Committee for their commitment to the Association, and to all of those who also volunteer their labour for the Association and the Journal. The TACA office staff, Vicki, Ashley and Elisa work hard to keep TACA ticking over and they do a great job. Thanks go to Grant Ayre for website management, to Advertising Manager Carol Fraczek, Designer Astrid Wehling and Proofreader Suzanne Dean; they work behind the scenes and we recognise and greatly appreciate their support. The role Vicki Grima plays in the day to day running of the Association is as well greatly appreciated, as is her editorship of The Journal of Australian Ceramics. Vicki’s contribution to both is immense.