Press Centre

Media Release
1 June 2001

Virtual Gallery Planned for Schools Art Work

Students from around Australia will be able to view each other's work and study the work of contemporary local artists through a plan to be launched by the Federal Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, the Hon. Dr. David Kemp at the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery on June 14th.

The project on 'In the Artist's Footsteps', a major educational website, has the backing of the Federal Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs as an associated Discovering Democracy project, and Telstra Country Wide, the principal sponsor of the site.

Managing Director of medialaunch Pty. Ltd. Mr Ron Smith, responsible for the development of the project, said, "the Virtual Gallery will encourage schools to promote students work on the Internet to the local community. It will also provide a major educational resource for students to be able to view artwork from other students in Australia. Schools will also be encouraged to research and promote a local artist as a visiting exhibitor in their virtual gallery.

Part of the program encourages schools to promote their involvement to local papers, council's, galleries and art societies.

Mr Smith, a former Art Teacher said, "schools will build the virtual galleries on their own websites and link to a central area of 'In the Artist's Footsteps'. 'In the Artist's Footsteps' provides extensive information on the work and lives of Australia's most famous painters including Sir Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Walter Withers, Charles Conder, Clara Southern, and May Vale.

"We see this as an opportunity to create an awareness of the many artists working in regional and rural Australia and also a chance for schools in these areas to promote their work and achievements to a wider audience. It is also an opportunity to bridge the communication gap between city and country with the brushstrokes of young Australians," he said.

'In the Artist's Footsteps' website is a major educational resource that can be shared by schools and art lovers of all ages. Leading Australian Art Historian Andrew Mackenzie, an authority on the Heidelberg School, curates the site.

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith 'In the Artist's Footsteps' (03) 98185700 Mobile 0417 329 201

Left: Arthur Streeton - Above Us The Great Grave Sky, 1890
Collection: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

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