MEDIA RELEASE: CIAF Collectors & Curators Program 2016 attracts international interest 
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MEDIA RELEASE: 28 June 2016

CIAF Collectors & Curators Program 2016 attracts international interest 

Renowned Curator, Hetti Perkins, will once again lead the Collectors and Curators Program (CCP) as part of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) for 2016. This exclusive program sets CIAF apart from other art fairs, as it gives curators from major domestic and global institutions a unique opportunity to preview the art fair’s diverse showcase of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.
Hetti Perkins, who has headed up the CCP program for the past four years, has an inspiring portfolio of experience and achievements including 13 years as a curator for the Art Gallery of NSW. Her knowledge and connections in the art-world have ensured the growth of the program on an international platform.
“I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for the work of our artists and the ethical marketplace that CIAF offers in the Collectors and Curators Program, and to bring this work into conversation,” Perkins said.
Following a recent increase in the popularity of Australian Indigenous art overseas, the CIAF 2016 CCP will welcome more than 40 invitees including, high-profile international institutional curators and collectors of private and public art collections.
Maia Nuku, the Associate Curator of Oceanic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York said that she is delighted to be attending CIAF for the first time.
“It's an important opportunity for me to meet artists from the region in person and engage directly with the work they are doing,” she said.
“I'm looking forward to listening to the stories and narratives Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander artists are telling through their visual art practice, in performance and theatre.”
Following on from last year’s program when members made an inaugural visit to local Aboriginal community, Yarrabah, a highlight of the CCP’s 2016 program will include a tailored on-country experience. Participants will visit the Mandingalbay Yidinji people, which will include a local bush tucker tour with community elders and a visit with artists.
“I hope to learn from curators, galleries and collectors on the ground in Australia who are all contributing to this vibrant and dynamic visual arts scene."  Maia says.
CIAF’s ever growing CCP program is testament to the strong national and international interest in the developing Queensland Indigenous art practice. The collectors and curators program is designed to offer members a chance to view and buy works at behind-the-scenes viewing at galleries, from renowned and emerging Queensland artists, including Christian Thompson, Mavis Ngallametta, Rosella Namok and Fiona Omeenyo.
The CIAF 2015 CCP resulted in the acquisition of a major installation by the Australian Maritime Museum and was instrumental in Queensland Indigenous artist participation in the international exhibitions Taba Naba and Living Waters at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, earlier this year.   
Cairns Indigenous Art Fair is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland’s Backing Indigenous Arts Initiative a program that aims to build a stronger, more sustainable and ethical Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts industry in the State. It is also supported through the Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy, an initiative of the Australian State and Territory Governments.
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