• Indigenous artist Julie Dowling's 'The Gift' 1999, and benefactor Carrillo Gantner. (Art Collector Magazine)Source: Art Collector Magazine
More than 90 works by Indigenous artists will be donated to the Shepparton Art Museum in regional Victoria which also plans to run Indigenous artist residencies.
Dan Butler

24 Mar 2021 - 11:01 AM  UPDATED 24 Mar 2021 - 11:01 AM

One of the largest-ever donations of Indigenous art has been made to a museum in country Victoria, with the works valued at $3 million. 

They will form part of the inaugural exhibit for the museum's newly-built home, which completed construction last month and is due to have its grand opening in October. 

The donation was made by Carrillo and Ziyin Gantner from their private collection, adding to their 2013 donation to the same institution. 

The museum already houses a significant Indigenous art collection, including works from the Central and Western desert regions, as well as from Arnhem land and the Tiwi Islands.

Mr Gantner expressed his pleasure at the official handing over of the artworks. 

 ‘I am delighted to see this deed of gift signed, and confirm the gifting process that has been occurring for a number of years now, it is very exciting that we will soon see the works in the new SAM building.’

The new building that will house the Shepparton Art Museum was partly constructed using funds from a government grant that recognised that gallery's plans to promote Indigenous artists and administrators. 

It includes a series of artists residencies for First Nations artists, a trainee program for local Indigenous youth, and the employment of a new Indigenous staff member to coordinate the program. 

The building and the gifted artworks are expected to be a boon to tourism in the area, following the twin disasters of the bushfires and COVID-19. 

Greater Shepparton City Council (GSCC) Mayor Kim O’Keeffe said: ‘It is gifts such as this that add significant value to our community and will ensure the new SAM thrives.’