Among those awarded was a scholarship honouring the legacy of the late School alumnus Robert Foster. The inaugural recipient, Megan Stewart, acknowledged the patrons of the scholarship who were all in attendance: Gretel Harrison (partner of Robert Foster), and representatives of the Tall Foundation.
“It’s incredible having their support,” Megan says. “It means so much to know there’s belief within myself and my practice.”
“It has enabled me to push and refine my work further, an opportunity for which I am extremely thankful.”
Megan described the late artist as having been an icon in the design community.
“Robert Foster was one of the most encouraging and kind people I have met,” she says.
“What he created as well as achieved within his life is incredible – it has become a large motivation within my work.”
Prue Hazelgrove, who is majoring in Photography and completing her Honours year, was awarded the first Gray Smith and Joan Scott Prize. The prize is in honour of the couple, who were active in the art scene in Canberra. Gray was a practicing artist and had a role in art education in the mid-1960s and early 1970s – including teaching at the Canberra Technical College (forerunner to the Canberra School of Art).
Gray and Joan’s daughter Sheenagh Callahan told the reception: “It is exciting to meet the students who are recognised for their excellence.”
“I'm sure my parents would have been very proud to be a continuing support of the arts for which they were both very passionate.”
Former Director of the School of Art & Design, Emeritus Professor David Williams, was also on hand to celebrate the award recipients as well as represent the ANU Visual Arts Foundation (VAF), which he chairs.
Emeritus Professor Williams, with his wife Margaret, also supports a travelling scholarship for undergraduate Visual Arts students.
“We both think it is very important that alumni, business and members of the general community support the University by contributing to scholarships, awards and prizes, campus teaching and research activities,” he says.
The recipient of the VAF scholarship was Georgia Niederer, who is doing a Flexible Double Degree, combining Visual Arts and Physics.
“The Scholarship will broaden her opportunities to explore her own style in the visual arts, developing her research, technical and conceptual skills in both her chosen disciplines,” Emeritus Professor Williams says.
“We wish her every success as she embarks on her ambitious interdisciplinary study challenge in the visual arts and science.”
The Peter and Lena Karmel Honours Scholarship, which has been awarded since 2008, went to Textiles major Ellen Gunner.
Both Peter and his wife Lena were passionate advocates for visual art and music. Professor Peter Karmel served as Vice-Chancellor of the ANU (1982-87), was Executive Chair of the Board of the Institute of the Arts (1988-2003), and President of the Australian Council for Education Research for 19 years.
ANU School of Art and Design Head Professor Denise Ferris expressed the School’s gratitude to its donors “whose vision will contribute to generations of artists at a time when support is so valuable, as they embark on their studies and early careers”.
“The students who received these awards have such bright futures; their dedication to their disciplines have been recognised by peers and patrons alike,” says Professor Ferris.
“The scholarships the students have received will contribute to their ongoing success as vibrant, outstanding members of the School of Art & Design community.”
Recipients and their awards
Megan Stewart – Robert Foster Gold & Silversmithing Honours Scholarship
Ellen Gunner – Peter and Lena Karmel Honours Scholarship
Georgia Niederer – Visual Arts Foundation Scholarship
Prue Hazelgrove – Gray Smith and Joan Scott Prize