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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh


    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Thursday, December 03, 2009



    Premier and Arts Minister Anna Bligh has announced an additional $1.2 million in funding to support the growth of Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) in 2010 and 2011.

    “In August this year Cairns was the place to be for Indigenous art lovers with the first Art Fair attracting more than 10 000 visitors and generating art sales in excess of $500 000,” the Premier said.

    “CIAF also brought significant benefits to the city’s tourism, cultural and hospitality sectors and positively raised the profile of Queensland Indigenous art and artists in the Australian market.

    “Many artists and galleries are still reaping benefits from the event with sales, media and exhibition offers continuing to flow from contacts made at CIAF.

    “In 2010 we want to extend the impact of CIAF to the international market by attracting more overseas collectors to Cairns and also share Indigenous culture with the wider community by extending the educational program with more talks and workshops.

    “We will also provide more opportunities for artists to network and learn about the arts industry throughout the Art Fair.”

    Some of the exciting outcomes of CIAF 2009 include: the sale of art work to the National Gallery of Australia and Queensland Art Gallery; North Queensland artists Leonard Andy, Alison Murray and Tonya Grant each had art work purchased for Parliament House, Canberra; Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre (Cardwell) has booked three major exhibitions and is in discussions for an international show; Kuranda band Zennith has booked performances in Sydney and Melbourne; and Lockhart River artist Lawrence Omeenyo has been invited to exhibit in Sydney by World Vision Australia.

    The Premier said CIAF, to be held from 20–22 August 2010 at Tanks Arts Centre and satellite venues throughout the city, has enormous potential to become a key date on the nation’s cultural calendar.

    “We asked people for feedback on CIAF and everyone from artists and visitors to our event partners said they found CIAF an uplifting, spiritual experience that allowed them to learn more about Indigenous art, culture, dance and music in a striking, tropical setting,” Ms Bligh said.

    “Many felt that a dedicated celebration of Queensland’s rich Indigenous culture in Far North Queensland was long overdue and were overjoyed by the way CIAF was embraced by the entire community.

    “CIAF, a key part of the Queensland Government’s $10.73 million Backing Indigenous Arts program, is forging a path forward to a more sustainable and equitable Indigenous arts industry.

    “In 2010, we will maintain the unique model of bringing commercial galleries and Indigenous art centres from the Gulf, Cape York, Torres Strait and Far North Queensland together at one event to sell work by Queensland Indigenous artists as part of a program that includes a selling exhibition, complementary performance and workshop program and a symposium.

    “We are working on a new surprise element of CIAF that will make it an even better event – so watch this space”

    CIAF 2009 was a major initiative of the State Government delivered by Arts Queensland, the Indigenous Business Development Unit and the Queensland Indigenous Arts Marketing and Export Agency (QIAMEA), in partnership with the Australian Government, Cairns Regional Council and James Cook University.

    For more information on Cairns Indigenous Art Fair visit

    Media contact: 07 32244500