Armidale based artist Rita Winiger was announced as the 2018 recipient of the Helen Dangar Memorial Art Bursary at the opening of two new exhibitions at the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) on Friday 12 October 2018.
The award, now in its second year, has been established in memory of well-known Armidale arts supporter Helen Dangar (1944-2015) to celebrate her contribution to the region’s cultural life and to continue the generosity, passion and support towards the arts that was evident throughout Helen’s life. Each year the bursary supports a local artist from the New England Region to participate in a professional or creative development activity that will assist the artists in developing their creative practice and to advance in their career path.
Rita Winiger will receive a $1,500 grant towards the costs of attending the Larapinta Creative Camp where she will have access to beautiful and remote dessert landscapes, creative exercises and technical skills training.
“My paintings are my personal response to the environment, the different natural elements of the Larapinta landscape will have profound impact on my creative practice,” said artist Rita Winiger. “Being exposed to a different landscape and connecting with new places and surroundings are important for my art and will stimulate my creativity.”
“This year we received many worthy and exciting applications to the bursary,” said Art Museum Director, Rachael Parsons. “The selection panel engaged in a lengthy and detailed deliberation to select this year’s recipient. A key consideration for the panel was to consider the impact of the artist’s proposed activity on their creative and career development.”
Born in Switzerland, Rita Winiger completed a Master of Studio Art in ceramic sculpture from the Sydney College of the Arts in 2005. Her recent practice has focussed on landscape painting which are currently exhibited at NERAM in her first sole exhibition at the Museum titled My Terrain, which opened on the same evening that the bursary announcement was made. Rita is a student in Ross Laurie’s advanced painting class held at NERAM and regularly exhibits with the Armidale Art Society.
“I feel absolutely delighted to receive this year’s bursary,” said artist Rita Winiger. “The opportunity means a lot to me, and I hope that I will produce some good work as a result of my attendance at the creative camp. I think that the bursary is a great opportunity and that it really inspires and encourages artists.”
NERAM would like to thank Bill Dangar, the Dangar Family, Friends of NERAM, Packsaddle and the many donors and supporters who have donated to establish and build the Bursary fund.
The New England Regional Art Museum will be next calling for applications for the bursary from artists across the entire New England region in August 2019.
For further information on how you could support the Helen Dangar Memorial Art Bursary visit https://www.neram.com.au/support/foundation/helen-dangar-bursary/
Rita is currently exhibiting her first solo exhibition at NERAM My Terrain, on view until 2nd December.
Image: NERAM Director, Rachael Parsons and artist, Rita Winiger after the announcment of the 2018 Helen Dangar Memorial Art Bursary