Visual Arts Panel

The Visual Arts Panel (VAP) provides advice on Council’s Art and Heritage Collection and public art.

Yarra City Council inherited a range of indoor and outdoor artworks and cultural artifacts when the Cities of Collingwood, Richmond and Fitzroy amalgamated in 1994. Council recognises the inherent importance of local cultural heritage and accepts responsibility as custodian for all collection items documenting the City’s unique history and people.

Council will acquire, collect, preserve, research, document, exhibit, interpret and make accessible to the public the original artworks, objects and information that best illustrate the physical, artistic, cultural, social and political history and development of the City of Yarra. These works form the Yarra City Council Art & Heritage Collection.

The City of Yarra Collection Management Policy guides all decisions related to Council’s management of the Collection and role as cultural custodian of this Collection.

Public art is a growing and changing form of contemporary art that presents a range of opportunities and challenges for Council. Public art may be commissioned and produced by various means including by Council, community groups, artists and private developers. Council’s first Public Art Policy 2015-20 and Guidelines for Public Art in Private Development in Yarra were adopted on Tuesday 3 March 2015.

Council is advised on cultural matters by the Yarra Arts Advisory Committee (YAARTS). The Visual Arts Panel (VAP) is a sub-committee of YAARTS.

The Panel provides a formal mechanism for Council to seek specialist advice as required on matters related to the management of the Collection and public art.

The Visual Arts Panel meets on a regular basis to:

  •  contribute to policies and strategies related to the Collection and public art;
  •  assist with acquisition, commissioning and de-accessioning processes as required;
  •  advise on acquisition proposals of over $5000;
  •  represent YAARTS on reference groups related to Council generated commissions where required; and advocate for public art.

The Visual Arts Panel consists of 10 members including seven ordinary community representatives who live or work in the City of Yarra with a particular interest or expertise in arts and culture.

2014 Visual Arts Panel Terms of Reference

Current members of the Visual Arts Panel

Yarra Councillors Mi-Lin Chen Yi Mei and Mike McEvoy are members of the committee.

Kate Bailey

Kate Bailey has a predominately visual arts background covering more than 10 years experience in art galleries, non-for-profit organisations, project management, theatre, festivals and arts management. She has managed art galleries in Melbourne and in New Zealand, working with many notable artists. Currently she is Youth Arts and Events Officer at Moonee Valley City Council. Kate is also the Co-Founder of art.speak, a series of mentoring sessions to inspire and support Australia’s early career artists and arts leaders. Her interests involve encouraging arts and culture within the community, managing art programs and increasing audiences in the arts.

Dr Anne Bennett

Dr Anne Bennett is a practicing visual artist, independent curator, writer and art educator who teaches Drawing and Theory in the Bachelor of Illustration, Fairfield Campus at Melbourne Polytechnic. Anne has curated and project managed numerous touring exhibitions and also authored numerous catalogue essays and conference papers. Anne is currently undertaking a Master of Art Curatorship and an internship in Collection Management at the Ian Potter Museum of Art.

Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a public art advocate, artist, designer and curator and Director of Backwoods Gallery (Collingwood). Backwoods Gallery has been exhibiting since 2012 and is an active gallery with a focus on the maturing street art and urban contemporary scene. Prior to this position Sean was the Assistant Director of Floating World Arts (event management and production).

Bronek Kozka

Bronek Kozka is a professional artist who works in the medium of photography. His work has been exhibited in Australia and internationally and as part of numerous prizes, of which he has been a finalist on many occasions. Bronek lectures in the School of Art at RMIT and is currently undertaking his PhD.

Shini Pararajasingham

Shini Pararajasingham is the Founder and Director of Off the Kerb since 2007. Her role is in the strategic direction of the gallery and creating an exhibition calendar that contributes to Melbourne’s dynamic arts sector. One of Shini’s objectives at Off the Kerb is to support charities through the arts such as beyondblue, Melbourne City Mission, The Lost Dog’s Home, Whitelion, Innerspace and Clowns Without Borders.

Shini Pararajasingham has sat on the panel of judges at the Victorian College of the Arts Proud Awards. She recently sat on the panel of judges for  the Abbotsford Convent Collaborative Award 2014. Shini has also contributed as an invited expert to City of Ballarat’s arts and cultural policy consultation and development. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Monash University (2003) and a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)/Business Marketing, Monash University (1998).

As a practicing artist, she has had an international solo show in Vienna, Austria, a group exhibition in Prato, Italy and solo and group exhibitions locally and nationally. Currently, Shini dedicates her expertise to her role as Director of Off the Kerb mentoring artists to further their creative limits.

Rebeccah Power

Rebeccah Power is an artist and arts educator who is extremely passionate about the visual arts in all its forms. She exhibits regularly and has an extensive exhibition history.  Her artistic practice spans a variety of disciplines, including painting, drawing, photography, digital imaging, projections and installation. The delicate, colourful and detailed approach to her work is juxtaposed with somewhat weighty subject matter. This creates arresting art that, combined with the visceral tactility of the materials used, symbolically highlights the poignant combination of fragility and strength in her subjects.

As an arts educator, Power believes that an understanding of the social, political and historical influences on art making throughout the ages is integral to accurately interpreting and understanding the meanings behind and influences on artworks. She takes an open minded approach to the visual arts and believes that one of its strengths resides in the fact that it has a breadth that caters for all tastes, cultures, ages and socio-economic statuses.

Emma Crimmings

Emma Crimmings is the Director of Gertrude Contemporary, which is valued nationally and respected internationally as a dynamic centre for the production and presentation of contemporary art. Gertrude started in 1985 and is part of the Yarra landscape. Emma Crimmings has worked as a filmmaker, a Producer for ABC TV Arts, a curator at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the Australian Centre for Photography. Most recently Emma worked as the Acting Director and Program Manager of Cultural Affairs at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC.

Mandy Nicholson

Mandy Nicholson belongs to the Wurundjeri-willam (Wurundjeri-baluk patriline) clan of Melbourne and has a diverse arts background with over 20 years experience as a practising artist. She has worked across a range of mediums and has collaborated on a number of large scale public art projects. These include Manchester and Melbourne Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and Common Ground at Birrarung Marr (located on the riverside of Fed Square).  Mandy has a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree specialising in Indigenous Archaeology with a minor in Geology. Mandy currently works as the Project Officer at the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL) in Fitzroy and with the Wurundjeri Tribe Land Compensation and Cultural Heritage Council Inc. at Abbotsford Convent.

Image: Ying Huang, A Picturesque View (2016), mural at Collingwood Senior Citizen’s Centre, Abbotsford.