Art Fund Past Scholars
Mi-kaisha MasellaAAA-Nomad Two Worlds Foundation Indigenous Arts Scholar
Chenoa DeemalAAA Indigenous Arts Scholar
Nicholas SmithAAA-AFNGA AusArt Scholar
Jasmine PilcherAAA Arts Fund Scholar
Leticia RopertAAA Arts Fund Scholar
John QuirkAAA Arts Fund Scholar
Lucy O’Brien-EnglishAAA Arts Fund Scholar
Meg WhiteAAA Arts Fund Scholar
Julian DayAAA Arts Fund Scholar
Graham AkhurstAAA-Nomad Two Worlds Foundation Indigenous Arts Scholar
Darlene JohnsonAAA-AISF Scholar
Helena DongAAA-AUSFF Scholar
Amanda NicholsAAA-AUSFF Scholar
Lucy Ashley (Wanapuygnu)AAA Indigenous Arts Scholar
Thomas KellyAAA Indigenous Arts Scholar
William GardinerAAA Arts Fund ScholarWilliam Gardiner is an Australian composer currently studying at the Yale School of Music, where he is mentored by David Lang. In addition to formal studies, he has also worked in sound engineering and electronic production with Ben Frost at Bedroom Community/Greenhouse Studios Iceland, with the support of the Australia Council for the Arts.In 2017 he was commissioned by the composer John Adams and his partner Deborah O’Grady to write a cello concerto for the Berkeley Symphony and cellist Tessa Seymour, to celebrate Adams’ 70th birthday year. Also in 2017, the LA-based chamber ensemble wild Up premiered ALL IS FOR THE BEST—a video opera co-created with DRELLER, and still under development—as part of The Industry’s First Take 2017program.
Courtenay ClearyAAA Arts Fund ScholarCourtenay is currently on scholarship at The Juilliard School in New York where she is completing her Master of Music degree with violin professor Naoko Tanaka. She recently received her Bachelor of Music degree with first-class honours from the Royal Academy of Music in London where she studied with professor Maureen Smith. In 2017 Courtenay performed as a soloist for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and other distinguished guests at Westminster Abbey for the Royal Commonwealth Service. This was broadcast live on BBC television. In 2018 Courtenay again performed for the HM the Queen at Buckingham Palace for the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. She has also performed as a soloist at prestigious venues including the Wigmore Hall, St James’ Piccadilly, the Regent Hall, Colston Hall and the Lincoln Centre. She recently performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra in Sydney and will be returning to Australia in 2019 to give the Australian premiere of David Lang’s Mystery Sonatas. She is a Tait Memorial Trust and ABRSM scholar, and was recently awarded second prize at the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition as well as the the Dame Joan Sutherland Award from the American Australian Association and the Guy Parsons Award from the Portland House and Australian Music Foundations.
Benjamin HeimAAA Arts Fund ScholarBen Heim is an Australian composer and creative technologist currently based in New York City. His work spans contemporary classical music, film scoring, live immersive experiences, audiovisual performance, and virtual reality. He has composed music for banking apps in the UK, virtual reality games in Australia, documentaries in New York, audiovisual mapping works in Iceland, and for contemporary classical ensembles across the world. In his audiovisual installations Heim creates dynamic systems in which strong two-way connections are forged between auditory and visual components. This produces synesthetic experiences as crosstalk between the senses multiplies. Heim's works have been performed across Europe, Australia and the USA in events such as Tallinn Music week (Estonia) and Splice Festival (UK). He has collaborated with many organisations to create immersive events, including the London Contemporary Orchestra, and at the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik.
Angela LittleAAA Arts Fund ScholarAngela Little is a screen composer from Sydney, Australia. Her first major credit was Baz Luhrmann’s film “Australia”, for which she composed Additional Music and co-wrote and sang the film’s love song, which was nominated for numerous national and international awards. Since then, Angela has lent her talents to a diverse range of projects, including collaborating with Oscar-nominated composer Marco Beltrami as a vocal soloist on 2016 blockbuster “Gods of Egypt” and composing the score for AACTA-nominated feature documentary “Zach’s Ceremony”, which also won the audience award for Best Documentary at both Sydney and Melbourne International Film Festivals in 2016.
Belle BassinAAA Arts Fund Scholar
Belle Bassin has exhibited work at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne; TarraWarra Museum of Art, Melbourne; and University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, among others.
Zoe FreisburgAAA Arts Fund ScholarZoe commenced her violin studies at the age of four under the direction of her mother, Helena Munoz. After completing her Bachelor of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium with Michele Walsh, she studied at the Australian National Academy of Music under Dr. Robin Wilson.A passionate solo performer, Zoe has appeared as a soloist in Sibelius’s Concerto with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Mozart’s A Major Concerto with Orchestra Victoria.In addition to her concerto performances, Zoe is a devoted recitalist touring to China in 2016 with renowned UK pianist Alexander Ullman.A recipient of numerous awards, Zoe has won the prestigious Kendall National Violin Competition and the Australian Classical Music Competition. She was also selected as a finalist in the Freedman Fellowships and in Symphony Australia’s Young Performer’s Awards.In 2018, Zoe commenced a Performer Diploma at Indiana University. This course will allow Zoe to study with one of the world’s best violin pedagogues, Mauricio Fuks as well as experiencing IU’s ability of creating excellent and well-rounded artists.
Svetlana BaileyAAA Arts Fund ScholarTouched by occasions that are silently dissonant, that with a different context seem surreal, Svetlana Bailey builds installations and photographs what she terms in-camera collage. Born in St Petersburg in 1984, Svetlana is represented by Artereal Gallery Sydney and has been an artist in residence at the ISCP in New York, the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and the Mountain School in Los Angeles. Her work is held in the Australian Government’s Artbank collection and the Library of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and for the last two years running was awarded the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward prize. Svetlana received her BFA from UNSW and MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. The AAA grant will support Svetlana in a four week residency at the Vermont Studio Center where she will experiment with mediums in large scale drawings as part of a new body of work.
Celeste Cebra KotevichAAA Arts Fund ScholarCéleste Cebra is an emerging lens-based artist from Sydney, Australia who resides in Chicago, USA. In 2015, Cebra graduated with a BFA in Photomedia and the Joel Corrigan Memorial Photography Award from the National Art School, Sydney. In 2016 she undertook a residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. In 2017 Cebra unveiled a series created during her residency for her inaugural solo exhibition Quotidian Metropolis. She's a 2018 Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award finalist and a Fisher’s Ghost Award finalist. Cebra is a MFA candidate in Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Daniel LeAAA Arts Fund ScholarAustralian pianist and American Australian Association 2018 Arts Fund Scholar, Daniel Tang Le, has enjoyed an international career spanning four continents. Beginning his piano studies at the age of three, Daniel received a music scholarship to the Melbourne Grammar School at the age of eleven. By fourteen, he attended the Australian National Academy of Music Young Academy Program and gave his first live radio performances on the Australian Broadcasting Company and 3MBS. After Daniel’s debut with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in 2015, he was immediately re-engaged for two consecutive seasons. Other performances have brought Daniel to venues including Lincoln Center in New York, Melbourne Recital Center, Queensland Performing Arts Theatre, and Lyric Theatre in Australia, Waseda University in Japan, and Engadin Summer Piano Academy in Switzerland. Currently based in New York City, Daniel is pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Manhattan School of Music
Ashleigh McArthurAAA Arts Fund ScholarAshleigh McArthur is a filmmaker currently pursuing an M.F.A in Documentary Film at Stanford University. She is a graduate of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and the recipient of an Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant. Her first student film, Pat’s Studio, premiered at the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art with the Antenna Documentary Festival and screened at festivals in Australia and the US. Prior to her filmmaking career Ashleigh spent eight years in the Australian foreign service, where she contributed to public policy on security, human rights and climate change and represented Australia in Solomon Islands, Mexico and the US.
Alice HeywardAAA Arts Fund ScholarAlice Heyward is an Australian dancer and choreographer. Her choreographic work has been presented at Dancehouse, Melbourne (Keir Choreographic Award), Murray White Room (Melbourne), Sophiensaele (Tanztage festival, Berlin), Kunsthaus KuLe (Performing Arts Festival, Berlin), adastudio at Uferstudios (Berlin), Next Wave festival (Melbourne), Bus Projects (Melbourne), The Watermill Center (USA), RMIT Design Hub (Melbourne), MPavilion (Melbourne) and PSAS (Perth). This year, Alice is performing Xavier Le Roy’s Still Untitled and Temporary Title (2015) at the Centre National de la Danse - Pantin (Paris)and Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) and is collaborating with Jacqui Shelton for an exhibition at Gertrude Contemporary (Melbourne). She will soon commence a new creation process with New York-based Cypriot choreographer Maria Hassabi. Alice is about to commence a Klein Technique ™ Teacher Certification program with Susan Klein in NYC with the support of the American Australian Association.
Alberta KhouryAAA Arts Fund ScholarCurrently residing in NYC, Khoury began her undergraduate studies at the Juilliard School with 2-time Grammy award winner Sharon Isbin, awarded a full scholarship by the Augustine Foundation. Now completing her Master of Music degree in Juilliard’s Accelerated Program, she serves as a Student Ambassador for Juilliard. Khoury enjoys pursuing her project Music in Every Corner, playing music in the offices as well as various parts of the building to bring music to the staff and community. Other community engagement experiences include her collaboration with MacArthur Fellow Vijay Gupta, performing music at a homeless shelter. Khoury was invited to present a talk on community engagement as well as share a performance at the Lincoln Center all-staff meeting, Kaplan Penthouse. She has been heard at an event honoring Placido Domingo graced by Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain at the Metropolitan Club. Khoury is a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship.
Caroline GarciaAAA-AFNGA AusArt Scholar
Alexandra RigbyAAA Arts Fund ScholarAtlantic Acting SchoolResearch Interest: Acting
Victor AvilaAAA Arts Fund ScholarCarnegie Mellon UniversityResearch Interest: Master of MusicVictor began his tertiary violin studies with Goetz Richter and Ole Bohn at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2012 and graduated with First Class Honours.In July 2015 Victor participated in a tour to Italy with the Sydney Conservatorium where he performed in a piano trio which gave recitals in Verona and Mantua.Victor was selected as part of an internship with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra of Australia to perform Puccini's La Boheme at the Hanoi Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam. Victor is now a casual violinist with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. Victor has given solo recitals at international venues including the Sala Cecília Meireles in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the Vigeland Museum in Oslo, Norway. The American-Australian Arts Fund will assist Victor in his study towards a Master of Music degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA.
Philippa KaneAAA Arts Fund ScholarQUTResearch Interest: Drama
For BeFrank Theatre Company she produced a tour for the British Forces in Germany. This was the first ever theatrical tour of it’s kind. She has also worked with The Reversed Shakespeare Company, producing a sell-out run of a gender-reversed “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Her other experience includes working with Half Moon Children’s Theatre, Icarus Theatre Collective and DumbWise Theatre Company.
Justin SterlingAAA Arts Fund ScholarParsons School of DesignResearch Interest: Visual Artist MFAI am a visual artist from Texas currently based in Brooklyn. I attended the Parsons School of Design in NYC for an MFA in Fine Arts and graduated in May 2017. I make art out of found objects from cities. I explore how everyday objects shape our social behavior through history and politics. My aim is to unravel the way we view power, authority, and control by revealing various truths about urban ecosystems and American poverty. Many of my artistic propositions include interventions in public as well as the mediums of painting, drawing, sculpture, video, installation, and performance. Much of the work has an underlying tone of violence that I use to create tension inside of the status quo and challenge my audience to think critically. It has always come naturally to me to collect neglected objects and attempt to recycle them. I choose to recycle an object based on its metaphorical or institutional significance, attempting to give them new life and reclaim them from their socio-political censor. In my process, I embrace, provoke, and appropriate to explore the ways violence and risk have a stake in what it means to be a responsible citizen.
Cat CommanderAAA Arts Fund ScholarMount St. Mary's UniversityResearch Interest: Film and Television MFACat is a writer and film maker from Perth, Western Australia. She has a Master of Writing for Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts (2013) and is currently a student in the Film and Television MFA program at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles. Cat’s play, The Last Time I Saw Richard, premiered at The Bakehouse Theatre in Adelaide in 2016. Previous work, You Took The Stars was performed in Perth and Melbourne (2014/2015), following Red Stitch Theatre featuring her short play, Melting, in Play List (2014). Cat holds a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Western Australia (2004). Cat is thrilled to have the opportunity to adapt her stage works for the big screen.
Paul HodgeDame Joan Sutherland FundNew YorkResearch Interest: Writer-composer Mentorship with Alain BoublilPaul Hodge is a writer-composer from Brisbane. His recent work, CLINTON THE MUSICAL, was performed Off-Broadway, at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, in London and Edinburgh and will have its Australian Premiere in 2016 at Black Swan State Theatre Company. CLINTON received a New York Times Critics Pick and nominations for Best New Musical and Best Book of a Musical in New York and Edinburgh. His other large-scale work, TERRA AUSTRALIS, was shortlisted for the QLD Premier’s Drama Award 2012-13. He is about to complete a PhD in Music Composition at the University of Queensland. Awards include the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artist Fellowship, Margaret Nickson Prize and 4MBS Musica Viva Chamber Music Prize.
Liesl PfefferDame Joan Sutherland FundVermont Studio Center, VermontResearch Interest: Visual ArtistLiesl Pfeffer is a visual artist from Brisbane, Australia, living in Brooklyn, NY. In her art practice she constructs imagined and real places and objects through photo-media collage. She holds a Bachelor of Photography from the Queensland College of Art (2005). Pfeffer was resident at The Banff Centre, Banff, Canada (2015), The Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY (2014) and in August 2016 will be resident at Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, supported by the Australian American Association’s Dame Joan Sutherland Fund. Recently she exhibited at Ortega y Gasset, Wassaic Project, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Trestle Projects and Chashama (all New York, USA). Pfeffer was a mentor in the New York Foundation for the Arts’ Immigrant Artist Program in 2015.
Lani AsuncionDame Joan Sutherland FundBilpin International Ground for Creative Initiatives, New South WhalesResearch Interest: Visual ArtistLani Asuncion is an interdisciplinary artist working with transmedia storytelling to explore her identity as an Asian American woman. She is an artist-in-residence alumna of Caldera Arts Center, I-Park, CAC Woodside, Elsewhere Living Museum, Santa Fe Art Institute, and Bilpin International Grounds for Creative Initiatives (BigCi). Asuncion’s work has been screened in Currents New Media Festival in Santa Fe, NM. As well as Nights of Festivals: Moving Image at Nottingham Contemporary, UK; and was included in Aspect EZ: Vol. 4, Déjà Vu a DVD printing by ASPECT: The Chronicle for New Media in Boston, MA. Her work was included in Another Athens Film Programme at SUPERMARKET Independent Art Fair in Stockholm, Sweden hosted by Interviewroom11 (Edinburgh) & SNEHTA (Athens).
James StuartDame Joan Sutherland FundSchool of Visual Arts, New YorkResearch Interest: Documentary Film MakerJames Stuart is a multi-disciplinary documentary filmmaker coming from a strong background in graphic design and musical performance. Having grown up abroad, between Australia, the United States, Indonesia and Europe, James Possesses a unique perspective. More than anything, this immersion in different cultures informs his practice. James is currently developing his abilities as a nonfiction-storyteller at the School of Visual Arts MFA in Social Documentary in New York City. He is currently working to explore the possibilities at the intersection of different disciplines, where design and motion graphics can meet documentary filmmaking and enable new possibilities for non-fiction storytelling. James hold a bachelor of Visual Communications with first class honours from the University of Technology Sydney.
Kieran SwannDame Joan Sutherland FundWesleyan University, ConnecticutResearch Interest: CuratorKieran Swann is an artist, curator, producer, and facilitator; with a background in both performance and visual art. His work for gallery spaces manifests as spare, minimalist gestures or tasks; always site-responsive and often to reframe or bring into focus the history of sites or bodies, and create a space for meditation on these. In experimental theatre and contemporary performance, Kieran collaborates with The Good Room, creators of I Should Have Drunk More Champagne (Metro Arts 2013), I Want To Know What Love Is (Brisbane Festival/QTC 2014, Brisbane Powerhouse 2015), and the forthcoming The Forgiveness Project (working title) – a body of contemporary work acclaimed for accessibility, innovative process, striking imagery, and meaningful community engagement. He has created work with Brisbane Festival, Queensland Theatre Company, Brisbane Powerhouse, Next Wave, La Boite Theatre, Conical Inc, Schoolhouse Studios.His body of work has received national acclaim; ABC Radio has described his work as “nothing short of brilliant”, and RealTime has noted him a “fabulous liar in a mundane world”. In 2016, Kieran has received a fellowship for postgraduate study at Wesleyan University’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, in Connecticut USA.
Clare and MattDame Joan Sutherland FundWatermill Center, New YorkResearch Interest: Visual ArtistsMatt Prest and Clare Britton have individual arts practices that traverse performance and visual art. They have a history of working together on a number of significant collaborative projects. These works include the award winning productions Whelping Box (with Branch Nebula), Hole in the Wall and The Tent. As a partnership, Clare and Matt aim to make work that puts the 'experience' on an equal footing with the 'object' of the artwork. Clare and Matt work within an interdisciplinary, experimental process, reinforced by strategies of design and collaboration. The Dame Joan Sutherland Fund will support their upcoming residency at The Watermill Centre.
Bridget MackeyDame Joan Sutherland FundUniversity of Southern California, CaliforniaResearch Interest: ScreenwritingBridget Mackey is a Melbourne playwright and dramaturg. Bridget’s play The Exact Dimensions of Hell was read at the Melbourne Theatre Company as part of Cybec Electric 2016. Other plays by Bridget include: Exit Everything (with Georgie McAuley, Little Sister Projects 2015), Kindness (Flight Festival 2015) and Hose (MKA 2012). Bridget is a founding member of Lonely Company and is Literary Manager for five.point.one. She has worked as a dramaturg on a number of projects including Blessed by Fleur Kilpatrick and The Lake by Ben Brooker. In 2014 Bridget undertook a dramaturgy internship with Playwriting Australia at the Melbourne Theatre Company. Bridget holds a Master of Writing for Performance from the VCA (2013) and a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Acting) from Flinders University (2007).
Amelia WallinDame Joan Sutherland FundCenter for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New YorkResearch Interest: CuratorAmelia Wallin is an Australian curator and current MA candidate at The Centre for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York. In 2015 she was the Curatorial Fellow at Performa working on the inaugural Australian ‘Pavilion Without Walls’ and was in-residence at Wassaic Projects (NY) researching alternative curatorial models and writing practices. Amelia has held positions at numerous Sydney organisations including Biennale of Sydney, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Performance Space, Vivid Ideas, and Performing Lines. She was co-curator of Tiny Stadiums Live Art Festival (2012-14) and has been involved in the set up and directing of several artist-run-spaces; Firstdraft (2012-13), Sydney Guild (2012-14) and The Paper Mill (2009-11). She holds a Bachelor of Art & Art Theory from the University of New South Wales.
Liang LuscombeDame Joan Sutherland FundVirginia Commonwealth UniversityResearch Interest: Master of Fine Art Liang was the recipient of an Australia Council JUMP Mentorship in 2013 and was mentored by Angela Brennan. She has also held residencies at the Australia Council Studio, British School at Rome in 2013 and PICA Studio Residency in 2011. She is currently undertaking her Masters of Fine Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, USA.Recent solo exhibitions include: Table Talk, Box Copy, Brisbane, 2016; A Tall Painter, Yarra Flats, Melbourne, 2016; Three Sailors, Sutton Project Space, Melbourne, 2014; Non in Casa, 157 Blyth St, Melbourne, 2013; Bauhaus Fisher Price, TCB art inc., Melbourne, 2012. Selected group exhibitions include: Footnotes, The 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Yekaterinburg, 2015; No fond return of love, I.C.A.N., Sydney, 2014; Dear Masato, all at once, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2014; brimming dissolution, buoyant expenditure, RM, Auckland, 2014; Synonyms for Sincerity, Alaska Projects, Sydney, 2013; Please be quiet, The British School at Rome, Rome, 2013; Navel Gazing, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2013; Fresh Paint, Sutton Projects, Melbourne, 2012; Ménage a Trois, XYZ Gallery Tokyo, 2012.
Samantha McCullochDame Joan Sutherland FundNew York Art Residency and Studios Foundation, New YorkResearch Interest: Visual ArtistSamantha McCulloch is currently undertaking a three-month residency at the NARS Foundation in New York City. She is trained as an artist and curator and has exhibited in Australia and abroad. She was selected as one of Next Wave Festival’s emerging curators and curated a multi-site exhibition at the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Melbourne. Recent exhibitions include: Ground(s), c3, 2016; Concerted Efforts, Westspace, 2015 and From where I was, The Substation Gallery, 2015. Practice traces interactions between matter and site. Her photographs and sculptures explore the world as a series of becomings, a mesh of human, animal and plant interactions.
Lucy TurnbullDame Joan Sutherland FundNew York Studio School of Drawing, Painting & SculptureResearch Interest: Master of Fine ArtsLucy has a background in drawing and painting, she studied at Adelaide Central School of Art and graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Art, Honours in 2010. She has exhibited in galleries and public spaces around Australia and locally, including Victoria Square, Adelaide Festival Centre, Praxis Artspace and Adelaide Central Gallery.Lucy is also passionate about teaching and has worked for a number of organisations, most recently as Artist Assistant at Carclew's Pom Pom Children's Contemporary Art Space in Davoren Park and a Drawing lecturer at Adelaide Central School of Art in Glenside.Lucy will be undertaking a Masters of Fine Art at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture.
Christy GastDame Joan Sutherland FundPerformance Studies International Conference, VictoriaResearch Interest: Visual ArtistChristy Gast (New York) is an artist whose work across media reflects an interest in issues of economics and the environment, and the role of content in giving meaning to the experience and form of the work. She has exhibited at MoMA/P.S.1, Performa, Artists Space and Regina Rex in New York; PAMM, Bass Museum of Art, de la Cruz Collection, Locust Projects, and Gallery Diet in Miami; Mass MoCA; High Desert Test Sites; and the Kadist Art Foundation in Paris. She has received awards from the Art Matters Foundation and the South Florida Cultural Consortium, and is faculty at Hartford Art School’s new Nomad9 MFA program.
Nicholas VardanegaDame Joan Sutherland FundNYUResearch Interest: Masters in MusicNominated for "Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year" in the 2015 Bell Awards, guitarist/composer Nic Vardanega is an emerging voice on the Australian jazz scene. A graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Nic has been a sought after musician, performing with Australian Jazz icon Mike Nock as well as being a regular member of rising star pianist Francesca Prihasti’s Quartet.Nic has recorded alongside first call New York City musicians including drummers Ulysses Owens Jr and Rodney Green as well as bassists Orlando le Fleming and Marco Panascia. His debut album ‘Invenro’ was released in late 2014 to critical acclaim. The album featured all original compositions by Vardanega and explored music influenced by his Italian heritage.
Persia Blue TollDame Joan Sutherland FundSITI Conservatory, NYCResearch Interest: ActressPersia Blue is an Australian actress of both screen and stage. She has studied with the Atlantic Acting School- New York, SITI company- Saratoga and Ensemble Studios- Australia. Theatre work includes: Charitable Intent- The Jack Manning Trilogy (Ensemble Theatre) Grace Land and Asleep on the Wind (Operating Theatre) Stairwell (Old Fitzroy Theatre), Telling Tales (HGR) Hayes Gordon Repertory Theatre Company’s Theatre in Education Shakespeare Program: Love, Death and a Little Madness NSW tour: 2009 and 2010. Australian television credits: Home and Away (Network Seven), Dance Academy (ABC), Housos Series 2 (SBS). Australian feature films: Housos Vs Authority and Fat Pizza Vs Housos.Persia’s short films including: Circe (Dungog Film Festival 2010), A Broadband God, Report (Pop Films Australia), 2012 (NAFA)
Emma CillekensDame Joan Sutherland FundStudio 20: Digital FirstResearch Interest: Masters in Arts (Journalism)When Emma Cillekens found out talking too much could become a career she was sold!Emma is a radio presenter from Queensland, Australia, who has had a rich career across many facets of the media including radio, television, print and online. Most recently she’s worked for national public radio broadcaster, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) as breakfast radio host. She’s presented breakfast, morning, drive and weekend programs to a local and state audience and has provided content to a national and international audience. She has freelanced for the BBC and several other media organisations.Emma has always had a nose for adventure, so when NYU (New York University) offered her a scholarship to be part of the prestigious Studio 20: Digital First master’s degree she jumped at it.
Chelsea GilesDame Joan Sutherland FundUniversity of California, Los AngelesResearch Interest: Masters in Fine ArtsBorn and raised in Sydney, Australia, Chelsea Giles is a self-professed storyteller and rising Australian talent. A string of roles on some of Australia's most loved programs in combination with a drive to continually improve her skills saw Chelsea win a lead role in her first feature film at 16. While still in High School, she achieved associate diplomas in both Performance, and Speech and Drama teaching from the Trinity College of London. After working with acting coaches Ivana Chubbuck, Howard Fine, and Elizabeth Kemp, Chelsea commenced a Masters of Fine Arts (Theatre) at UCLA’s School of Film, Theatre, and Television with the support of the DJSF in 2016.
Ashley CarterDame Joan Sutherland FundNorthwestern UniversityResearch Interest: Masters in MusicAshley Carter was born in Mt Isa in central Queensland, Australia, and began playing the Trombone at age 12. Learning from his Grandfather, after only playing for 3 years, Ashley was awarded his Associate Diploma in Music (A.mus.A) at the age of 15 from the Australian Music Examination Board (AMEB).After graduating from Shalom Catholic College in Bundaberg he moved to Brisbane to study a Bachelor of Music Performance and Graduate Diploma of Music Studies with Benjamin Marks (ELISION) and Jason Redman (Principal Trombone, Queensland Symphony Orchestra) at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University. In 2012 Ashley moved to Melbourne, Australia, to commence his first year at The Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) under the instruction of Michael Bertoncello, Trombone player of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.Ashley has been involved in a number of youth ensembles including the Queensland Youth Orchestra, Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute, Tasmania Discovery Orchestra and the Australian Youth Orchestras. Ashley has performed with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the New South Wales Police Band.
Carly GraceDame Joan Sutherland FundSeattle, WAResearch Interest: Visual Thinking Strategies Advanced PracticumCarly Grace is an artist and visual arts educator based in Melbourne, Australia. She specialises in interpretation education and has an extensive experience in designing and delivering diverse education and public programs within museums, community arts and diverse educational settings. She is currently the Education Manager at Heide Museum of Modern Art where she specialises in training educators in Visual Thinking Strategies. Carly’s formal qualifications include a Master in Cultural Heritage Deakin University, Diploma of Education (Secondary, Visual Art) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) from Monash University. Her philosophy for visual arts’ education is connecting people with the opportunities that art making and engagement in art culture can have in enriching their lives.
Ann CarewDame Joan Sutherland FundNew York International Music FestivalResearch Interest: MusicianAnn Carew is a young musician from Brisbane, Australia. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Music (Honours)/Bachelor of Science, at the University of Queensland. She is majoring in violin performance, and has recently travelled with them to New York to take part in the New York University Winter Strings Conference. On violin, she is a member of the Brisbane Regional Youth Orchestra, the Queensland Youth Symphony and the UQ Symphony Orchestra as well as playing in many chamber ensembles around Brisbane. The Dame Joan Sutherland Fund will support her upcoming tour to America with the Brisbane Regional Youth Orchestra, to take part in the 2017 New York International Music Festival held at Carnegie Hall.
Michael GreblaDame Joan Sutherland FundNew England ConservatoryResearch Interest: Masters in Music CompositionMichael is a composer from Perth Western Australia and has recently commence a Masters of Music at the New England Conservatory, Boston. Michael was awarded the 2016 General Sir John Monash Scholarship and received a merit based entry scholarship to NEC, which in addition to the DJSF grant support his studies in Boston. He studied a bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Bachelor of Music Composition with First Class Honours at the University of Western Australia. During his time at UWA, Michael received the JM Wolff, Knight and WA Wagner Society’s Bayreuth music scholarships and was awarded the Bryant Stokes Matilda Award for Cultural Excellence by the University. Before leaving for Boston, Michael was the founder and director of “Music at St George’s College”, an extremely successful chamber music initiative based in Perth.
Jason WingDame Joan Sutherland FundResidency at International Studio & Curatorial Program, New YorkResearch Interest: Visual ArtistJason is a Sydney-based artist who strongly identifies with his Chinese and Aboriginal heritage. Calling into question our understanding of history and of our current socio-political reality, Wing repurposes everyday objects and imagery, creating works that are both visually confronting and deceptively simple. Jason holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Graphic Design, Sydney Graphics College. He has exhibited nationally and internationally.
Isabelle FreemanDame Joan Sutherland FundMannes College, The New School for Music, New YorkResearch Interest: SopranoIsabelle is a soprano from Perth, currently studying at Mannes College in New York City. Isabelle completed a Bachelor of Music at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. During her first year at Mannes, Isabelle was accepted into the Young Artist opera program, performing scenes from Verdi’s Falstaff (Alice), and the roles of Ciesca and Alms Collector in a double bill of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi & Suor Angelica. In 2014 Isabelle was an Emerging Young Artist with the West Australian Opera, and was the recipient of the Bendat Scholarship.
Bridget BalodisDame Joan Sutherland FundElevator Repair Service Theater, New YorkResearch Interest: DirectorBridget trained as a director at the Victorian College of the Arts, Australia. She is interested in new Australian writing and is co-director of experimental theatre company NO SHOW. In 2014 she was part of the MTC’s Women Directors Program. She has presented work with Next Wave Festival, La Mama and NORPA and been assistant director on work at the Malthouse, STC and with Bell Shakespeare.
Morgan BalfourDame Joan Sutherland FundElevator Repair Service Theater, New YorkResearch Interest: SingerMorgan graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, with a Bachelor of Music in Advanced Performance, Classical Voice. Roles performed include Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Sandrina from selections of Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. Her concert experience comprises of the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Soprano I in Bach’s Magnificat, and Britten’s War Requiem.
Elizabeth NowellDame Joan Sutherland FundBrooklyn Museum, New YorkResearch Interest: Curator & WriterLiz is an independent curator, writer and project manager. She has worked for a diverse range of arts organizations including Country Arts SA, College of Fine Arts and Hazelhurst Regional Gallery. Currently she lectures in Contemporary Curatorial Practice at Sydney College of the Arts and manages a number of artist studios. Last year she co-presented SafARI, a major fringe exhibition of the Biennale of Sydney.
Shanie KlasDame Joan Sutherland FundNorthwestern University, IllinoisResearch Interest: PercussionistEven before walking, Shanie would use kitchen utensils as sticks, and her brother's head as a drum. Shanie was destined to be a percussionist. Since then she has completed a Bachelor of Music on full scholarship from Monash University where she won the concerto competition in consecutive years. Other prizes include first place in the Australian Marimba Competition (2015), National semi-finalist in both the ABC Young Performer Award (2012) and the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition (2015, 2012). She has performed as soloist with the Adelaide Symphony and the Monash Academy Orchestras. Shanie has toured Europe as a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra, and regularly performs with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. She is currently studying a Masters of Music Performance at Northwestern University.
Petrina HicksDame Joan Sutherland FundArtist Residency at Kala Art Institute, CaliforniaResearch Interest: Visual ArtistPetrina Hicks utilises the seductive and glossy language of commercial photography to create artworks that probe at the false promise of perfection, exploring photography's ability to both create and corrupt the process of seduction and consumption. Petrina has exhibited widely though solo and groups shows in Australia, Europe, USA and Asia. Her work was recently selected to be shown at; Volta NY 2015, 17th International Videobrasil, Brazil, Pingyao International Photography Festival, China and Art Platform, Los Angeles. Petrina's works belong to various national and international collections including: National Gallery of Australia, AGNSW, Queensland Art Gallery, Tweed River City Art Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria.
Soda_JerkDame Joan Sutherland Fund Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Process, New YorkResearch Interest: Visual Artist
Formed in Sydney, Australia in 2002, Soda_Jerk is a two-person art collective comprised of Dan and Dominique Angeloro. Working exclusively with sampled material, they create rogue histories and counter-mythologies in the form of video installations, cut-up texts, and live video essays. Recent exhibitions and performances have been held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Pioneer Works, NYC, Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Berlin; The Substation, Melbourne; Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. They have undertaken residencies at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2010-11), Flux Factory, NYC (2012-13), International Studio and Curatorial Program, NYC (2013-14), the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool (2015) and are currently artists in residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Process Space on Governors Island.