2020 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship recipients announced

Marlee McMahon, Ticket, 2019. acrylic on canvas, 65cm x 72cm - courtesy of Bowerbank NinowMarlee McMahon (VIC) and Kate Power (SA) have been selected as recipients of the prestigious Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship for 2020.

The scholarship provides each artist with institutional fees for one academic year of study to a leading international art school of their choice and a US $50,000 tax free allowance and travel expenses. The competitive national scholarship program, now in its twenty-eighth year, is open to students and graduates.

Marlee McMahon graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in 2017. She has shown in solo and group exhibitions in Victoria, interstate and overseas. Her painting practice explores the intersection between graphic design and abstraction.

“I am overwhelmed and honoured to be the recipient of the Samstag scholarship,” said Marlee. “This invaluable opportunity will allow for me to develop my art practice in exciting ways that I could not achieve on my own. ”

Kate Power works across media, often drawing on craft, video, sculpture and performance. She graduated from the South Australian School of Art with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) in 2015 and has undertaken several overseas residencies, exhibiting widely in South Australia and interstate.

“I’ve never been more ecstatic than when I got the news that I’d received a Samstag Scholarship,” said Kate. “Immediately it has given me so much confidence in what I’m doing with my work.”

Erica Green, Director of the Samstag Museum of Art, which administers the scholarships program, says, “We warmly congratulate our 2020 scholars on their tremendous achievement,” she said. “The annual scholarships enable emerging Australian artists to develop their artistic capacities and skills outside Australia through a dedicated period of practice based learning. We know from experience that it is a life-changing professional opportunity.”

The selection committee for the 2020 Samstag Scholarships comprised Simon Biggs, Professor of Art, School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia, Christian Lock Samstag Scholar and Lecturer: Painting, School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia, and Nike Savvas, Sydney based artist and fellow Samstag Scholar.

“The quality of applicants for the 2020 Samstag Scholarships was exceptionally high,” Said Professor Biggs. “However, there were two that were especially strong. Kate Power impressed us with her clear commitment in continually developing a practice that critically challenges stereotypes.”

“Marlee McMahon blew us away with the quality, originality and the maturity she displayed in her portfolio. We are really excited to see how their work develops as they immerse themselves in new cultures and in a stimulating learning environment.”

Previous Samstag Scholars include Julian Day and Mikala Dwyer featured in the upcoming 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres; 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds artists Kristian Burford, Sean Cordeiro & Claire Healy, Timothy Horn, Hayden Fowler, Julie Gough and Nike Savvas; 21st Biennale of Sydney artist Nicholas Mangan; 2019 The National: New Australian Art artists Nicholas Folland, James Nguyen and nova Milne; 2020 Adelaide Studios Artist Residency recipient Madison Bycroft; and Adelaide Film Festival and Samstag Museum of Art 2020 Art & Moving Image Commission recipient Soda_Jerk.

For more information, visit: www.unisa.edu.au for details.

Image: Marlee McMahon, Ticket, 2019. acrylic on canvas, 65cm x 72cm – courtesy of Bowerbank Ninow

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