Donal Fitzpatrick (QCA) and Ann Dean (ADFAS Gold Coast) at the official handover

Donal Fitzpatrick (QCA) and Ann Dean (ADFAS Gold Coast) at the official handover

A local Arts Society “blown away” by the Queensland College of Art Griffith University has contributed $25,000 to enable the best and brightest students to further their career prospects.


This marks the largest community contribution for the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (ADFAS) Gold Coast and will be awarded in $2,000 increments to one student each year for use towards an Honours year of study.

ADFAS Gold Coast Chair Ann Dean said the decision was an easy one.


“Seeing the incredible scope of disciplines undertaken on campus simply blew us away. From 3D printing, to fine art, photography and digital design — the only thing equally as inspiring was the level of enthusiasm we encountered from the students and staff,” she said.


“Being able to support one of Australia’s longest running art institutions and the incredible host of talent it produces perfectly aligns with our aim to advance and preserve cultural and artistic heritage on the Gold Coast.”


The new partnership is one that establishes long term support for the thriving local arts scene -— an area too often neglected according to the QCA’s Deputy Director Donal Fitzpatrick.


“During times of financial constriction the arts are usually one of the first areas to be impacted, so this demonstrable investment in the future of the Gold Coast arts from ADFAS is tremendous,” he said.


“An Honours year of study affords young artists the chance to hone their individual talents, yet it is not always a feasible option after three years as an undergraduate student. An artist or designer will have to weigh up whether they can support themselves financially through an additional year of study and research.


“This award will open up this opportunity with funds to be used as the winning artist sees fit to support their honours study— whether that is to purchase equipment, materials or technology, host an exhibition locally or travel overseas to extend their network of contacts.

“Following such a successful year for our alumni — with three named as finalists in the Archibald Prize — it couldn’t have come at a better time to allow the next crop of emerging artists to reach similar heights of success,” he said.


The ADFAS Gold Coast Committee joined with celebrated QCA alumnus Victoria Reichelt (named the 2013 Sulman Prize winner), QCA executives and students for an official handover on Saturday 22 June at the Arts Centre Gold Coast.

The presentation followed the ADFAS Gold Coast monthly lecture, this time featuring UK guest Barry Venning, specialist in British Romantic Art who has lectured at Chelsea College of Art, Kent State University, Brooklands College and now The Open University.


ADFAS is a national group of 34 societies that offer their members a series of informative and entertaining monthly illustrated lectures and workshops. The Gold Coast Society boasts 264 members and is committed to proactive support of students in our community.


The first ADFAS / QCA Honours award will be presented in November following a panel selection of the artists and work on show at this year’s Graduate Exhibition.