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Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

ARTISTS FACING STUDIO CLOSURE: QCA vs Griffith University

with 2 comments

Over the last month there have been reports coming out of the Queensland College of Art about proposed changes being instigated by the hosting institution Griffith University. The University’s intentions are outlined in the University’s ‘Proposal for Workplace Change Roadmap to Sustainability *’.

*If link is broken Download a copy of the Proposal for Workplace Change Roadmap to Sustainability ‘  GU-QCA-Proposal-for-Workplace-Change-Roadmap-to-Sustainability_students

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Outcry from a cross-section of the Arts community has been forthcoming. This has included Arts academics, current and past students, staff and colleagues, Arts organisations like Occuli, NAVA, Brisbane Visual Arts Advocacy Group, Artisan and The Print Council of Australia, Arts Agencies and other supporting groups.

 

Save our Studios Poster by Isobelle Dwyer

Save our Studios Poster by Isobelle Dwyer

 

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.AS ALUMNI WE WANT TO SUPPORT THE QCA

So we composed the following letter to the Griffith University’s Vice Chancellor:

 

Dear Griffith University Vice Chancellor Professor Carolyn Evans,

By now you will have received a significant number of responses relating to the proposed changes to the Queensland College of Art.

I have read many of the responses to these changes posted online and I concur with the concerns raised by many of the respondents. The Queensland College of Art has history, a solid reputation for the quality of its graduates and the possibility to contribute significantly to the ongoing record of the life of human and non-human habitation on this planet.

Imagine for a moment if you can your world without the framed artwork on the wall – what it’s like to witness the vibe of the well attended gallery, the encounter of a sculpture in a public space, and the wonder of the fleeting image on Instagram. All of these are created by artists – the very people who will be affected by the changes you are intending to implement.

I understand the contemporary funding pressures created by the Pandemic and government indifference to the need to financially support academic study and research into the broader aspects of human existence.

However there is a necessity to be careful that rapid submission to comply, with what may be short-term influences, will have implications. Not just within the fine arts discipline but also, as the artist tells the stories of their times, fewer qualified practitioners will culminate in a gap in the creative record of human existence.

I urge Griffith University to reconsider what has been proposed and find a space to allow art and artists to be nurtured within the Griffith University academic programs.

I also wish you to consider that while many other universities may be considering a similar course of action in cutting Fine arts programs Griffith University has an opportunity to stand firm and continue the Queensland College of Art and realise the benefits identified in the vision and dreams that the supporters of the SAVE our STUDIOS have.

The studio is the crucible that provides the catalyst and engine room for the creative thought…

Sincerely,

Dr Doug Spowart M.Photog, FAIPP, HonFAIPP         Dr Victoria Cooper M.Photog, HonFAIPP

Graduate: College of Art Brisbane 1972                                                  Graduate: Queensland College of Art Brisbane 1993

 

 

A RESPONSE TO THE EMAIL WAS RECEIVED LATER IN THE DAY …

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STUDENT PROTESTS AND MEDIA REPORTS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN GENERATING COMMUNITY AWARENESS

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Photos courtesy of Cheryl Bronson

Photos courtesy of Cheryl Bronson

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An ABC TV REPORT HERE

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An ABC RADIO INTERVIEW HERE

(interview begins at around 1:42:45 and runs for 15 mins)

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A PETITION

At the time of posting the SAVE OUR STUDIOS Petition had received 10.6K signatures

– You can add your support by signing the petition here: http://chng.it/Zv22YbfP6y

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FB Page

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE QCA SOS PROTEST VISIT:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/teamqcasos

 

Save our Studios QCA by Summer Hiskens-Ravest

 

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AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY and the School of Art and Design

It’s interesting to note that at this time the Australian National University is doing the same for their Art programs with their demand being “…the long-standing structural deficit of the School cannot continue and must be addressed. The School must position itself tobe able to deliver its programs and research with continued excellence but in a financially viable and sustainable manner.”

READ MORE HERE: https://www.anu.edu.au/files/guidance/Managing%20Change%20Proposal_CASS_Tranche%202_November%202020_.pdf?

If link is broken Download a copy HERE ANU-Managing Change Proposal_CASS_Tranche 2_November 2020_

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2 Responses

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  1. Dreadful. I was horrified to read of the threats to ANU arts in today’s paper here. Further horrified to read about QCA.

    Brian Rope

    November 28, 2020 at 6:38 pm

  2. Thanks Victoria and Doug for notifying me of this travesty. Studying photography at QCA was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. To think that others may not have this opportunity is dreadful. I support every endeavour to keep the College running.
    Regards,
    Carol Foote

    Carol FOOTE

    November 28, 2020 at 7:25 pm


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