Friday, July 15th, 2016
An open letter to Sydney College of the Arts…
Let SCA stay!

As a long-standing neighbour of Sydney College of the Arts, the Artereal Gallery team would like to express our sadness and regret at hearing of SCA’s imminent closure as part of a planned merger with UNSW Art & Design.

Sydney College of the Arts,

Sixteen years ago, when our Director, Luisa Catanzaro first went searching for the perfect building to house Artereal Gallery – you were a drawcard. Before Artereal Gallery had even formally come into existence, we wanted you as our neighbour. Yes, there were other factors that came into play when choosing the ideal space… But we wanted to be near you – Sydney College of the Arts – the first tertiary art school to be established in New South Wales. An art school that had produced a myriad of renowned artists within Australian art – names like Deborah Dawes, Mikala Dwyer, Anne Ferran, Fiona Foley, Lindy Lee, Anne Zahalka, Nike Savvas, Shaun Gladwell, Rosemary Laing, Ben Quilty and Fiona Lowry amongst others. More recently you’ve fostered Cherry Hood, Jess MacNeil, Nell, Giles Ryder, Ken Yonetani, Bronwyn Bancroft, Justene Williams and Nicholas Folland… To name just a few.

Since we officially opened in 2006, you’ve been a wonderful neighbour. Like the older sibling we always wanted – you’ve been there for all those emergencies on install day, lending us last minute projectors when ours broke or the perfect plinth – and offering us support and a friendship that’s grown stronger with every passing year. We’ve attended your graduate shows and found some amazing emerging artists and through the Artereal Gallery Mentorship Award we have together nurtured many of these artists and seen them move on to achieve some impressive feats. You’ve supported many of our represented artists who have and still do hold academic positions within your faculty and use your unique facilities, and you’ve helped us to try and reach out to our local community through initiatives such as the Rozelle Contemporary Art Precinct. 

And now we hear you are to leave Callan Park and be absorbed into UNSW Art & Design. Now don’t get us wrong… We have a great relationship with all the Art Schools in Sydney and we are big fans of UNSW Art & Design as well as the National Art School. They also have incredible histories and an impressive list of alumni. But, from an Arts perspective, we think this move is a mistake. You’ve always had your own unique personality, your own individuality and your own gifts to offer the world (as do all the art schools) and we would be disappointed to see Sydney lose this diversity.

We will miss you. We will miss the energy and vibrancy and creativity which you bring to this neighbourhood and to the art world at large. We want you to stay.

So to all the SCA students – we’ve got your backs. We see you walking past our windows each day and we feel proud of you for fighting back. Keep fighting. Don’t give up. Stand up for the legacy and history of Sydney College of the Arts. It’s something worth fighting for.

We hope you’ll still be walking past our windows for years to come…

Artereal Gallery would like to acknowledge the following artists, all SCA staff or alumni, whom we have worked with over the last decade:

Rebecca Beardmore, Penelope Cain, Terrence Combos, Shoufay Derz, Simone Douglas, Cherine Fahd, Stevie Fieldsend, Sam Holt, Claude Jones, Andrew Lavery, Owen Leong, Jess MacNeil, Guy Peppin, Giles Ryder, Emily Sandrussi, Sylvia Schwenk, Amelia Tracey, Zan Wimberley, Yiorgo Yiannopoulos and Ken + Julia Yonetani. To name just a few…

We cannot imagine an art world without their unique talents.

Talent that was honed and refined at Sydney College of the Arts…

The Artereal Gallery Team
Luisa, Barbara, Rhianna, Noula and Gabrielle.

Show your support of Sydney College of the Arts and sign the petition to save SCA.