02 July 2012
Program fosters Indigenous artistic exchange
RMIT University has welcomed Canadian visual artist Jason Baerg on campus as part of the School of Art's 2012 international Artist in Residence (iAIR) program.
Works created by Mr Baerg in Melbourne as part of the exchange are on show in the exhibition Nomadic Bounce, at RMIT's Project Space gallery until 12 July.
Through the iAIR program, RMIT and the University of Lethbridge support an annual Indigenous exchange residency between Australia and Canada.
RMIT School of Art Galleries Curator and Coordinator, Stephen Gallagher, said the University of Lethbridge project was specifically developed to connect and illuminate Indigenous culture and enable artistic explorations of indigeneity.
"The iAIR program aims to connect people through art, and it is a pleasure to present the work of Jason Baerg for the first time in Australia," Mr Gallagher said.
"The program creates opportunities for creative experimentation, cross-cultural dialogue and international mobility."
The RMIT School of Art iAIR program enables artists both in Australia and abroad to have a truly global reach.
The program sends Australian artists and curators overseas - and receives professional artists from around the world to work with RMIT staff and students - through four reciprocal residency exchange agreements with partners in Canada, Japan, China and Austria.
While in Melbourne, Mr Baerg presented an artist talk to Master students in the School of Art and the School of Architecture and Design, and visited classes in the Indigenous Arts Unit at RMIT's Bundoora campus.
As a visual artist, Mr Baerg has presented at international art events including the Luminato Festival, Toronto International Art Fair, and Art Basel Miami.
He has given formal artist talks at institutions including the University of British Columbia Okanagan, New York City's Parsons School of Design and the University of Toronto.
Dedicated to community development, Mr Baerg contributes to national arts organisations in Canada as a board member for the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, The National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition and the Independent Media Arts Alliance.
RMIT alumnus Vicki Couzens will travel to Canada in late 2012 for the Canadian component of the exchange, which will be held between the Gushul Studios in Blairmore and the University of Lethbridge.
The project has been made possible through the generous support of the University of Lethbridge Gushul Studios and The Canada Council for the Arts, as well as the cooperation and assistance of Tanya Harnett, Acting Chair of Department of Native American Studies and Assistant Professor of the Department of Art, and Desmond Rochfort, Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lethbridge.
The iAIR program is part of a larger initiative to develop reciprocal residency exchange with international partners. A call for applications for 2013 programs will take place this month.
Nomadic Bounce is at Project Space gallery, 23-27 Cardigan Street, Carlton, until 12 July.
Relations Series, 2011.
Enamel on Wood, Tondo's range from 1'-2' in diameter.
© Jason Baerg
Visual artist Jason Baerg has been welcomed to RMIT as part of the iAIR program.
The project is supported by the University of Lethbridge.
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