Date published: 19/08/2013

Artsource has launched a new three-year partnership with mining corporation Rio Tinto.

Sandra Chester, Rio Tinto Community Investment Advisor said “After working successfully with Artsource for several years, Rio Tinto is stepping up our support with substantial funding for the Pilbara Arts Program from 2013 to 2016.”
The program aims to support Indigenous artists in the Shires of Roebourne and Ashburton through professional opportunities, structured mentoring and establishing a framework for ethical work practices in the region.

Artsource Chief Executive, Gavin Buckley commented “Artsource is thrilled to announce this exciting partnership with Rio Tinto for the Pilbara Arts Program. We have a shared vision to help Indigenous artists flourish and to invest in the cultural wealth of our state.”

“The funding will allow us to deepen our understanding of the issues affecting visual artists in the Pilbara and work closely with the community to ensure our services address their needs.”

The partnership’s first priority is to conduct a comprehensive community consultation with local artists, art collectives including Roebourne Art Group and Yinjaa-Barni Art and the Shires of Roebourne and Ashburton.

The consultation findings will inform the implementation strategy, with a focus on targeted mentoring and identifying long-term professional opportunities for artists in Dampier, Karratha, Point Samson, Roebourne, Wickham, Pannawonica, Paraburdoo and Tom Price.

Artsource’s Regional and Indigenous Development Manager, Ron Bradfield Jnr, will conduct visits to the region and also facilitate opportunities for Pilbara artists to access services in Perth.

“Artsource is committed to supporting Western Australia’s regional and Indigenous artists, however, the logistics and costs involved with servicing regional areas makes it a difficult task,” Ron Bradfield Jnr explained.

“This partnership with Rio Tinto will be instrumental in allowing us to assist artists at ground level, with practical support where it is needed most. The Pilbara is home to some incredible artists who are producing highly developed contemporary work, so it’s crucial we continue to support them with services they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.”

This partnership follows on from Artsource’s ‘Valuing Pilbara Indigenous Art’ project, which Rio Tinto supported from 2008 to 2012. This project was successful in increasing the capacity of artists in the region through professional development and mentoring, as well as supporting a number of artists to exhibit in the Cossack Art Award and Colours of our Country exhibitions.

For more information, contact Membership + Indigenous Development Manager Ron Bradfield.

Back to News