Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair: Around Town

In town for Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair? Here are three other annual events that you should add to your diary.

Words: Camilla Wagstaff

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards

Museum and Gallery of the Northern Territory

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA) is widely considered the premier Indigenous art prize on the annual Australian calendar. The accompanying exhibition, held at the Museum and Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) in Darwin, brings together outstanding works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from across the country, providing a comprehensive snapshot of contemporary Indigenous practice. The seven category winners are announced at an open public award ceremony hosted on the sprawling MAGNT lawns with music, drinks and dancing.

Salon des Refusés

Charles Darwin University Art Gallery

Each year, Matt Ward of Outstation Gallery and Paul Johnstone of Paul Johnstone Gallery present a Salon des Refusés of the NATSIAAs, exhibiting works submitted but not accepted into the award exhibition. Hosted at the Charles Darwin University Art Gallery, the show’s consistent high quality demonstrates the superb standard of work produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists nationwide. Ward sees the Salon des Refusés’ purpose as twofold. “It’s partly to help provide access for consumers to more affordable Aboriginal art, but it’s also for the artists,” he says. Johnstone adds: “The one thing that is really important, and the main thing that drives Matt and I, is people purchasing ethical art from ethical places – that is, community Art Centres.”

The National Indigenous Music Awards

The Darwin Amphitheatre

The National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs) celebrate Australia’s most prestigious and talented Indigenous musicians and songwriters, and the growing power of Australian First Nations music. 2017 saw A.B. Original, Paul Kelly, Dan Sultan, Baker Boy and Electric Fields rocking out to more than 4,000 attendees at Darwin’s iconic Amphitheatre. Tickets for the event start from $33 (with children under 12 attending for free) and can be bought in advance on the NIMA website or at the door.

This article was first published in the 2018 Art Collector / Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair special edition. Image: The National Indigenous Music Awards, 2017. Courtesy: NIMA, Darwin.

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