Local Artist Ann-Maree Ager of Kellyville was recently awarded the Individual Achievement Award for contribution to Arts and Culture during the Orange Blossom Festival.
Ann-Maree completed a Bachelor of Art Education degree at the College of Fine Arts University of NSW, she then commenced her career in Public Education working as Head Teacher of Visual Arts at Bossley Park High School which she is still dedicated to today in her role as Deputy Principal. During her career Ann-Maree has continued her Visual Arts education and training by doing numerous short courses at the National Art School Sydney and by spending a 6mth sabbatical with an Artist in Houston Texas were she learnt the fine art and honed her craft in working with leather. She has since become a multiple award winning internationally recognised Artist and Educator.
The Hills resident was awarded the Most Successful Exhibitor at the Sydney Royal Easter show 2016 for Leathercraft earlier this year, collecting 1 x Standard of Excellence, 3 x First place, 1 x Second place, 1 x Third place, 1 x Highly Commended.
She was also recognised for her work with students and was Awarded the Sir William Dobell Foundation Award for Dedication to ArtExpress at the Art Gallery of NSW 2016 (Pictured Right, Principal Vera Chevell, Deputy Ann-Maree Ager, Head Teacher Melanie Duff, Michelle Belgiorno-Nettis from the Sir William Dobell Foundation).
“It was an honour to be recognised publically for our work with students, we received the most nominations in South West Sydney and it was an enormous team effort. It was a great way to finish my role as Head Teacher before moving on to become Deputy Principal.” Ager.
This recognition followed a year of success as a practicing Artist where Ann-Maree was included in the following exhibitions across Australia.
• Finalist in the Craft NSW Emerging Artist Award 2015
• Finalist in the Hornsby Art Prize 2015
• Exhibited in ‘After Hours’ Western Sydney University 2015
• Awarded the Design and Craftsmanship Award Artfest 2015- Winmalee NSW
• 1st Place Dimensions in Leather – Leathercrafters Association of Queensland
Ann-Maree Ager’s success as an Australian Artist has in large part been due to the support of the Hills community in which she lives, her artworks are inspired by and showcases the beautiful flora and fauna outside her Kellyville home on the Cattai Creek Reserve.
“The Visual Arts are the quietest of the creative and performing Arts and sometimes struggle to gain much attention despite there being so many talented Artists living in the Hills and Hawkesbury area, so any media or publicity I can attract to the Visual Arts I believe will benefit the whole community”
Ann-Maree has recently submitted Artworks for both the Hornsby and Blacktown City Art Prizes and is awaiting selection notifications. “ I have created some new leather sculptures which I hope will be exhibited soon, Flutter by Day and Flowering by Day (pictured below) are both leather sculptures made from Exotics including Stingray, ostrich, goat, cow, snake, frog and alligator leathers sourced from all over the world. They are whimiscal surreal worlds designed to stimulate fond childhood memories of stories and fables in busy adults.”
“We are so caught up in our busy adult lives, I thought it would be nice to take time out and reflect on the innocence and beauty of childhood.” Ann-Maree also claims that they are also inspired by her very supportive family, “if my husband and two young children like a piece I know I’ve got a winner, they are brutally honest when giving me feedback about the quality of my work, which both inspires me and encourages me to do better.”