Kaiela Arts Newsletter May 2024

News, Events and Opportunities

There’s been so much happening at Kaiela Arts these past few months. In March we visited MAMA in Albury to see the Giyawara – nanha gulbalahna / disturbing the peace exhibition curated by Andrea Briggs, and more recently a trip out to Barmah with the Elders was well spent collecting natural pigments and reconnecting with some important Yorta Yorta sites. 

The studio has been buzzing with creativity as our screen-printing takes off with artist training sessions with Spacecraft and a new collection in the works for August. Painting has ramped up as we prepare for two exhibitions in July, and we’ve been delighted to have monthly ceramics sessions with local artist Kaye Poulton. 

Behind the scenes there’s also lots happening as we are about to embark on a redevelopment of our website with First Nations led marketing and design agency Little Rocket, and future visioning workshops that took place last year with artists and community will finally come to life in a new strategic plan in the coming months. 

Our team is also ever growing and we have welcomed a few new faces this year including Lillie Walker, Alkina Edwards, Erin Briggs, Kristen Retallick and Marc Riviere and sadly farewelled our staunchest weekend front of house worker Chris Walker (we thank him for all those Saturdays worked while everyone was off playing netball and footy!).

Read on to find out about some upcoming events, opportunities, projects and developments.

Beyond Borders: An Exploration of the Indigenous Artistic Narrative in the Contemporary Commercial Art World

Kaiela Arts has teamed up with TOPSOIL to program an exciting evening of discussion with First Nations creatives Chloe Jones, Dixon Patten, Troy Firebrace, and Alkina Edwards on Monday 20 May, 6pm at The Connection. 

As First Nations voices increasingly shaping narratives of value in the art world, this thought-provoking session, will delve into the impact of Indigenous perspectives on the design and commercial art landscape. The panel will share aspects of their own creative journeys, challenges, and triumphs, and explore some pressing questions: How do First Nations artists forge culturally respectful pathways? How can businesses maintain integrity while navigating diverse creative paradigms? 

We invite anyone interested in seizing this unique opportunity to embrace Indigenous perspectives, foster equitable collaboration, and ignite personal and collective creative evolution. A light supper will be provided.

This event is free but bookings are essential – click the button below to register.

Image: Troy Firebrace, photography by Leon Schoots

Save the Date: NAIDOC Exhibition Opening Tuesday 9 July

Kaiela Arts is proud to announce a new exhibition opening on Tuesday 9 July celebrating this year’s NAIDOC Week Theme, Keep the Fire Burning | Blak, Loud & Proud. 

The exhibition will honour Ancestors and Country and proudly display the vitality and resilience of First Nations cultures and storytelling in contemporary forms. The exhibition will bring together a range of new solo and collaborative works created by Aboriginal artists and Elders with deep connections to Yorta Yorta country with paintings and weaving featuring strongly alongside a collection of new of screen-printed homewares inspired by country.

Kaiela Arts warmly invites everyone to come and experience this special exhibition paying homage to the fire that is the enduring strength and vitality of First Nations cultures. 

Stay tuned for more info on our website and socials @kaielaarts.

Save the Date: NAIDOC Exhibition Opening Tuesday 9 July

We’re thrilled to announce we are participating at DAAF this year for the first time since 2019! The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, affectionately known as DAAF, is the only national event of its kind and has secured a reputation as one of the country’s most significant internationally recognised arts events.

Showcasing the contemporary fine art and design of more than 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres from across Australia, DAAF is held annually each August in Darwin, on Larrakia Country.

We’ll be taking a delegation of seven Kaiela Arts artists and staff to present a range of contemporary artworks and designs that reflect Yorta Yorta Country including paintings, weaving, ceramics and a brand new screen-printed merchandise collection currently in development with Spacecraft.

Stay tuned for updates! Make sure you’re following us on social media @kaielaarts.

Image: DAAF, Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair

Galnyatj Schools Program Kicks Off for 2024

In 2024 Kaiela Arts is evolving its Galnyatj Schools Program to provide an exciting opportunity for First Nations middle years students in the Greater Shepparton region, to deepen their understanding of Yorta Yorta culture, stories and history, and to explore their own connections to country, culture and people.

The first two schools to participate in the new Galnyatj Schools Program are Gowrie Street Primary School and Wilmott Road Primary School. Over 8 weeks, groups of Grade 5 and 6 students from each school will be working with our Galnyatj team and local Aboriginal artists to yarn and connect, learn and collaborate, and create new artworks that express their own stories, identity and connections to culture.

Galnyatj is facilitated by a skilled and experienced team of local Yorta Yorta creatives and visual arts educators including Lyn Thorpe, Kristen Retallick and Ally Knight.

If you are interested in finding out more or requesting a booking, visit our website.

Artist Spotlight Jack Anselmi

Meet Jack Anselmi, a talented artist and proud Yorta Yorta man hailing from Mooroopna, Victoria. Jack’s artistic journey thrives at Kaiela Arts, where he not only creates stunning pieces but also shares his expertise with fellow artists. Renowned for his captivating animal carvings, sculptures, and ceramics, Jack’s work has garnered attention far and wide.

His talents have earned him commissions from institutions University of Melbourne and Goulburn Valley Grammar School and in 2016, Jack collaborated with artist Cynthia Hardie to craft the remarkable ceramic installation ‘Midden’ for the Indigenous Ceramic Art Award at Shepparton Art Museum. This innovative piece, celebrating the Yorta Yorta totem of the long-neck turtle, won the esteemed award for its groundbreaking approach to ceramic art.

Weaving and Fibreworks Skills Exchange Program For First Nations Weavers

Date: May 7th – July 2nd

Time: 5.30 – 8.30pm

Venue: Kaiela Arts Studio

Suitable for women aged 16+ who already have some basic weaving skills.

Kaiela Arts is providing a new weaving and fibreworks weekly session for local First Nations women who love to weave and work with fibre.

Each week one of our women artist members who weave, will show and tell and share some insights about their practice. These sessions are about inspiring, supporting and encouraging each other, and an opportunity to work on your latest weaving or fibreworks project in the company of like-minded women.

Tea, coffee and biscuits provided – bring a plate to share.

BYO weaving projects and materials.



Date: Friday 10th May

Time: 10am – 3pm

Venue: Kaiela Arts Studio

Join local ceramicist Kaye Poulton as she teaches a new way to develop your ceramics technique.

Using a combination of glazing and scratching, try out new ways of layering and carving to give your works immersive colours and textures.

RSVP: info@kaielaarts.org.au or call us on 5821 9842

Become an artist member with Kaiela Arts!

Join Kaiela Arts today and become part of a vibrant community of First Nations creatives and cultural practitioners. 

Membership is open to all First Nation artists and community members with Yorta Yorta family connections, as well as other mobs living in the Kaiela Dungala region.

As a member, you’ll enjoy access to studio facilities and art materials, 10% of any artwork or merchandise purchases in our shop, invitations to events and exhibitions, free artist skills workshops, and promotion through our website and social media channels. 

Full Artist Memberships are $50 per year (Concession $40), while Junior Artist Memberships are $30 per year.

To join, applicants must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and have Yorta Yorta family connections or reside in the Kaiela Dungala region. Applications are reviewed and approved by our Board.

To find out more or request a membership application form click the button below.

Woollahra Small Sculpture prize – mounted sculptures up to 80cm in any dimension.

Prize pool $29,000

Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize | Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf


Northern Beaches Environmental Art and Design Prize – works that reflect a ‘sustainability’ theme.

Prize pool $46,000

Northern Beaches Environmental Art and Design Prize | Northern Beaches Council (nsw.gov.au)


2024 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize – a painting of dimensions not exceeding (h) 183.0 cm x (w) 244.0 cm (including frame)

Prize pool $30,000

2024 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize | Geelong Gallery


Fortyfivedownstairs Emerging Artist Award – . Entry is open to anyone in an early stage of their career that has not previously been exhibited in another art prize. Theme is “engagement with the natural and built environment, interrogates familial relationships through sensory experiences, and challenges our very sense of identity.”

Prize pool $3,000

Emerging Artist Award 2024 » fortyfivedownstairs

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