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Program provides Archibald Opportunity for Young People

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Young Ben takes on the old masters and gives painting a try with fellow pupil Tilly as the model, both of St Patricks Primary School, grade 4 and 5.

THE Art Gallery of Ballarat has secured funding from a philanthropic body for an ambitious education program to be offered in association with its presentation of the Archibald Prize in October and November this year.

Gandel Philanthropy has given the Gallery $85,000 to support the program in 2015 and 2016. Called FACE, the program targets different areas of the community to offer engaging cultural experiences around the idea of portraying oneself.

Gallery Education Officer Michael Nichiols said that there is a growing need in Ballarat and district to arts programs for young people. “It is really important that young people are given access to a range of creative activities as alternatives or to supplement sporting activities,” he said. “The arts give students from very diverse backgrounds and pathways to transform their view of themselves and their place in our society. “The Art Gallery of Ballarat is ideally situated to bring diverse audiences together in fun and creative ways. “ The FACE program, which we have put together, built on the Archibald Prize, offers a range of dynamic visual arts activities for students, using ideas of portraying themselves and their social networks.” Gandel Philanthropy is one of Australia’s largest independent family philanthropic funds.

It has been the vehicle for charitable giving by the extended Gandel family since its formation as the Gandel Charitable Trust in 1978.

John Gandel AO and Pauline Gandel are actively engaged in the philanthropic work and are universally recognised for their generosity and commitment to both Jewish and general causes. Through Gandel Philanthropy, over the years, they have channeled tens of millions of dollars towards supporting various charitable causes in the community.

Its vision is to create a positive and lasting difference in people’s lives. FACE consists of four parts: Farm Gallery Guides; Artlink to Archibald; Characters in the Collection; Exhibition of Young People’s Portrait Prize.

Farm gallery Guides – pilot project between the Gallery and the Ballarat Specialist School focuses on the ‘ability rather than the disability’. It is designed to mentor young artists to become gallery guides for their own portrait exhibition, which they will present at the Farm café during the Archibald Prize Exhibition. Artlink to Archibald – this week-long festival, a celebration of the portrait, will be held in the first week of November. It will involve schools within the Ballarat region who have a high percentage of Koorie students and children who may be socially and economically disadvantaged. The program will include artist-run portrait workshops, entry to the Archibald exhibition and subsidized bus travel to and from the Gallery. The resulting artworks will be exhibited in the Gallery Education Studio. Characters in the Collection – this trail provides an opportunity for students from all over Victoria to investigate the Gallery’s extensive collection of portraits, including works by past Archibald winners and finalists. The trail will be available both in printed form and as a downloadable digital app, will explore and interpret portraiture from early Primary through to senior Secondary levels. Exhibition FACES Young People’s Portrait Prize – Young artists between ages of four and sixteen will be invited to submit a 2D portrait in a range of possible media for a broad-based community exhibition. The works will be displayed during the Archibald Prize Exhibition in 2015 and again in 2016.