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Delegation being assembled for Journey of a Lifetime in the Australian Outback
The Australian Government is recruiting seven American delegates for a 14 day tour of remote aboriginal art centres located in Australia’s famed outback. The tour, set for June of 2008, is designed to help open up the market for Aboriginal art in the US by introducing curators, gallery owners and collectors to the people and land that helped create this internationally recognized movement.

The permits and logistical madness of a trip like this means it could never be organised on one’s own, said Joel Newman of the Australian Trade Commission, who is in charge of recruiting for the tour. We’ll cover some 6700km in 14 days and visit 24 art centres located in tiny remote communities ranging from 40-1000 people.

It’s really an intense experience, providing delegates with unparalleled access to the source of the movement, the art centres, Newman said, Most experts have only visited four or five centres in their life.

Governments have long sponsored trips for business elites in hopes of creating big deals in areas like mining, manufacturing, or financial services, but few, if any have done so for fine art. That might be because few governments have a story like that of Australia’s Aboriginal artists which are dominating their domestic market and surging onto the international scene.

After the Quai Branly Museum decided to include aboriginal Australian artists in the museum’s collection as well as the building’s design, 2007 saw an Aboriginal painting break the A$1 million mark at auction for the first time. Months later; Clifford Possum’s Warlugulong smashed that mark selling for A$2.4 million.

This surge in international legitimacy and pricing has hit Europe and is now getting into the US. In the last 2 years, galleries focusing exclusively in aboriginal art have opened near San Diego, Chicago, and Washington DC.

The Australian Trade Commission is the Australian Government Agency that helps Australian companies win overseas business by reducing the time, cost and risk involved in selecting, entering and developing international markets. See:

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If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Joel Newman, please contact Joel at 310-926-7532 or