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Many thanks to everyone who has encouraged and supported the Art Museum of Kangaroo Island committee throughout this year. We continue to be dedicated to bringing a regional gallery to Kangaroo Island because we know island artists, and the whole community, deserve it.

The Art Museum will be a catalyst for our artists to gain the widespread recognition and acknowledgement that they deserve. And it will bring the art of the world to them – through travelling exhibitions and the artists-in-residence program to help them to become even better artists.

It’s not just Island artists who will benefit – this is something for the whole Kangaroo Island, and South Australian, community. Imagine how life will change for island school students, who struggle to get to the Art Gallery of South Australia, let alone to the great galleries of the wider world.

However, our elected representatives at Kangaroo Island Council are not supporting our project in principle, nor our preferred site. We are very disappointed by their lack of vision but more determined than ever to see this project through to its completion for the artists, community and businesses of Kangaroo Island.

We are pursuing every thread of a possible alternative to make this project happen. The community told us in large numbers they wanted the Art Museum of Kangaroo Island, and that’s what we shall do.

Please enjoy the holiday season – we hope you are visiting our beautiful island. With an Art Museum, there would be even more to enjoy!

The case for the Art Museum of Kangaroo Island

The Art Museum of Kangaroo Island will be a community space on community land.

A grant from the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund has allowed the AMKI committee to prepare a business case for the Art Museum project. This business case, prepared by high-calibre consultants, shows a strong case for cultural, social and economic benefits to the Kangaroo Island community.


The Business Case for the Art Museum of Kangaroo Island is off and running with a crack team setting out the reasons why this project would be a boon to Kangaroo Island and to South Australia.

Backed by the strong support from the community and arts industry for the project and the preferred site during community consultation, we successfully applied for a Recovery grant from the Regional Arts Fund. The Art Museum of Kangaroo Island committee has engaged Kerstin Thompson Architects to prepare preliminary concepts for a building on that site, with WT Partnership to cost the building. Consultants Dougal McOmish of Eco Advisory and Maz McGann of Play Your Part are developing the economic, financial, social and cultural projections for the Art Museum. 

Architect Kerstin Thompson with AMKI committee members Deb Sleeman and Kathie Stove during a
visit to the preferred site. Photo: Janine Mackintosh

If the projections say it’s a worthwhile exercise, then we forge ahead with a solid business case to back our vision. If they say it doesn’t stack up then we bow out gracefully having given it a good shot.

Landscape architecture students add to the project

A Masters design studio convened for University of Adelaide landscape architecture students explored the potential of the preferred site for the Art Museum. Fourteen students visited the site and toured the island over several days to appreciate its unique environments. The projects that emerged displayed a breadth of ideas for consideration in a landscape masterplan, and smaller features and material suggestions that could be included or adapted.

Each student had a particular theme of interest that they researched and developed. Some of the themes were light and shadow, birdlife, mallee woodland, rock garden, nature reframed, and projection art. Each project suggested particular uses and functions for the grounds, along with materials, particularly plantings, that suit these activities and site conditions.

We thank the students and in particular senior lecturer Dr Jo Russell-Clarke for their efforts and wealth of great ideas.

South Australia Arts and Cultural Tourism Consultation

We obviously believe that arts and cultural tourism are important for Kangaroo Island’s future (and suspect you do too). The SA Government is currently accepting comments on the future of South Australian Arts and Cultural Tourism. Please have your say. 

Please donate

It’s a large and expensive project that we’ve started. If you are able to help please visit our PayPal page to donate. Unfortunately, we can’t offer tax deduction as yet. 

Kathie, Janine, Deb and Ria 
Art Museum of Kangaroo Island Establishment Association Inc committee 

Instagram: @artmuseumkangarooisland
Twitter: @ArtsKangarooIs

Woven in our hearts

Creative expression as a crucial tool for healing and community rebuilding was in clear view at the Culture for Recovery community workshops nurtured by renowned Indigenous artist Cedric Varcoe last weekend.

More than 70 Islanders (aged seven to ninety!) learnt and used traditional and contemporary weaving techniques with Mr Varcoe, a Ramindjeri, Ngarrindjeri and Narangga man, in the workshops.


Cedric began each day with a welcome to country and smoking ceremony with local aromatic plants. Photo: Sarah Kemp

The community and the impact that the workshops had on those that attended moved Mr Varcoe, who said he is passionate about sharing culture and connecting with all walks of life through art.

“I enjoyed everybody coming together and taking part in something that they may not otherwise get to experience.”

Sarah Kemp of Smart Future Creative, which is delivering the project to gift the island two art works as a legacy of community strength and resilience, said she hoped for many benefits for the individuals and our bushfire-affected community.

“This incredible experience was grounding and connecting,” she said.

“We loved the diversity of creations, each containing a unique personal story from its maker. Cedric will weave all the pieces together, creating a ‘map’ that represents our community, that will be publicly displayed.”

Attendee and local artist, Janine Mackintosh, said it was such a joy to spend time with Cedric who generously shared his stories and weaving techniques.

“It was wonderful to connect with culture and each other, to create, yarn, laugh and heal – one stitch at a time,” she said.


There was plenty of laughter every day. Photo: Sarah Kemp

Kath Bald, who also attended, said the workshop was so refreshing and relaxing.

“There was lots of conversation, sharing of ideas and meeting new people,” she said.

“Cedric was so calm and open to share his story and skills with us, and start a journey for Kangaroo Island of healing and knowledge sharing.”

Mr Varcoe will return in September to work with students, teachers and community over five days, to create a mural at the Parndana KICE campus, the second artwork.

This project is being delivered by Smart Future Creative, in partnership with the Art Museum of Kangaroo Island, as its first artist in residence program. It is supported by funding from the Regional Arts Fund through Country Arts SA, and the State Emergency Relief Fund Community Strength and Resilience Initiative, along with valuable support by Penny and David Paton. Many thanks to Parndana Bowling Club for their light-filled, welcoming venue and tasty lunches.

Some more of Sarah’s photos of finished pieces and their proud makers: