A peer assessor experience
3 min read

A peer assessor experience

Bonnie Melrose from Museums & Galleries Qld provides her experience of being a peer assessor for the Rockhampton Art Gallery.

Thanks to Bonnie Melrose from Museums & Galleries Queensland for providing her personal experience as a peer assessor for Rockhampton Art Gallery.

The Adventures of Bonnie Melrose

While I myself am already confident that culture ‘counts’, I was more than happy to help the Rockhampton Art Gallery and company Culture Counts convince others of this!

On the 26 May, I headed off to the Rockhampton Art Gallery to view The Adventures of William Yaxley exhibition and the Cream exhibition, both developed in-house by the Gallery. I completed Peer Assessor pre- and post-visit surveys about both exhibitions, as part of the ‘Culture Counts 2016 Queensland Pilot’.

Culture Counts is a measurement platform that captures artist, peer and public feedback on the quality and reach of arts and cultural events. This evaluation will assist Rockhampton Art Gallery to: qualify the public value of their community engagement and prove that their cultural efforts count; gain a deeper understanding of their audience; and increase their skills in evaluation, including survey design, administration and analysis.

The Adventures of William Yaxley exhibition was a real adventure to view. The Artist described his works in an interview as “little paradises”, and I felt this was a perfect description. The paintings were vivid, eccentric and humorous. I particularly appreciated the accompanying video interview created by Rockhampton Art Gallery staff. The Artist was interviewed in his home, on his property, by his water tank, and flipping through his canvases in his storage container – it was an engaging, intimate insight into the Artist’s character, practice and artistic aspirations.

I also enjoyed the Cream exhibition, but admit I was already very familiar with it, as Museums & Galleries Queensland has just toured this exhibition to nine venues nationally. Cream: Four Decades of Australian Art chronicles the development of modernism in Australia from 1940 to 1980. Artists featured include John Perceval, Arthur Boyd, Charles Blackman, Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale, John Brack, Clifton Pugh, Sam Fulbrook, Margaret Olley, and Fred Williams. Cream and The Adventures of William Yaxley exemplify Rockhampton Art Gallery’s dedication to producing high-quality exhibitions both for their local community and to share with the wider Australian community.

On my adventure to Rockhampton, not only was I able to help prove that culture counts, but I was fortunate enough to spend a great day in town – enjoying the exhibitions at the Gallery, meeting the very professional Gallery staff Jade, Sarah and Diana and strolling through the beautiful Rockhampton Botanic Gardens and Zoo while waiting for my flight home.