Arts award victim of UCOL cuts

By Staff Reporter

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Fallout from cuts to UCOL in Wanganui continues with the prestigious pattillo arts scholarship, the biggest in New Zealand, coming to an end.

Pattillo director Anne Pattillo said yesterday the scholarship would no longer continue because of cuts to Whanganui UCOL's arts programme.

The scholarship, established in 2007, was to have run for 10 years. It awarded a UCOL Quay School of the Arts student a $7500 prize, the largest monetary award for art students. The money could be used to further the winner's art education in whatever way they chose. Last year's winner, Bonnie Wroe, used her prize to travel to New York, while 2009 winner Maria Martin-Smith used hers to buy a printmaking press.

Ms Pattillo said she was disappointed the scholarship was unable to continue.

"We chose Wanganui and UCOL's Quay School of the Arts because of its growing national and international reputation. The scholarship was a small attempt to nurture the creative and innovation capacity of New Zealand," Ms Pattillo said.

In October, UCOL announced it would halt first-year intakes of fine arts and glass programmes for 2013, citing a $2.6 million cut in government funding.

When the cuts were announced, Ms Pattillo publicly expressed her disappointment.

She thanked staff and students at the arts school and the arts community of Wanganui for supporting the grant.

"We are also very grateful to the Sarjeant Gallery for the wonderful help and expertise staff members have offered over the years," Ms Pattillo said.

She said the pattillo association with the Quay School of the Arts was not over.

One of the pattillo scholarship judges, Louis Le Vaillant, director of the Johnson Collection in Melbourne, said he was sad to see the scholarship end. He said it was a generous award that could have gone to a much larger institution but instead was focused on a small regional school.

"Whanganui UCOL was chosen because it would have an effect, and provide an opportunity where scholarships might not normally be offered," Mr Vaillant said.

Whanganui UCOL principal Julia Pedley said she appreciated the commitment of pattillo to the arts and this scholarship in particular.

"It provided our students with an aspirational goal and a reward for exceptional creativity and ability. We understand the decision, which I'm sure was a hard one," Ms Pedley said.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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