Basil Sellers AM
Basil, a retired businessman and esteemed art collector, is driven to bridge the gulf between the disciplines of sport and art. The Basil Sellers Art Prize is only one of his philanthropic initiatives nurturing artistic spirit and ambition. In January this year, the last of ten life-sized bronze sculptures he commissioned was unveiled at the Sydney Cricket Ground, home of Basil’s beloved Sydney Swans. At around the same time, to considerably less fanfare but with no less conviction, Basil initiated the first Sporting Art Project for Kids by encouraging a class of young children to create an artwork on the theme of sport. The winning work was a portrait of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci.
Dr Chris McAuliffe
Chris McAuliffe is the director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art. In 1996 he curated Eyes on the ball: images of Australian Rules football and since then has continued to explore Australian artists’ visions of sport. A former board member of the St Kilda Bowling Club, Chris now plays for Harcourt in central Victoria. In a lifetime of playing sport, he has not earned a single trophy. Says Chris, ‘One of my favourite sporting moments was watching a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on the 4th of July, eating a hot dog, while the Ramones played over the PA. It always reminds me that sport is about so much more than the game itself; tradition, national myths, place, architecture and music are all part of the experience’.
Nick Farr-Jones AM
Former rugby union champion Nick Farr-Jones captained the Wallabies to Australia’s first World Cup in 1991 and is one of the last of the heroes of the amateur game, retiring shortly before players began to command handsome salaries. A focus on the blood, sweat and tears that precede ‘scoreboard victory’ has characterised Nick’s successive careers as solicitor, motivational speaker and investment banker. In recognition of his services to rugby union, Nick was awarded an AM in 1992. He is a patron of the Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Foundation, board member of the Wesley Mission, and in 2008 created his own charity, known as Touch Life, to raise awareness and funds to support Wesley Mission’s work with the homeless. His mother, Rosemary, was a world champion bridge player.
Erica Green is the inaugural director of the Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, which opened in 2007 at the University of South Australia’s city west campus on North Terrace, Adelaide. She is an artist by training and also gained a graduate diploma in museum studies from Sydney University. Erica has developed the profile of the Samstag to one of national visibility and artistic credibility. She is responsible for the University of South Australia Art Collection as well as managing the Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarships. Some of Erica’s recent curatorial projects include Eden & the Apple of Sodom for the 2002 Adelaide Festival, Wonderful world, Lynette Wallworth: duality of light, and Colliding worlds. With two athletic, university-age sons, Erica maintains her parenting stamina with regular swimming and walking; however, the limits of her sporting ambition were recently defined by a Green family white water rafting adventure on the Franklin River.
Lisa Havilah was appointed the CEO of CarriageWorks, Sydney, in 2010. Between 2005 and 2010, as director of Campbelltown Arts Centre, she pioneered a multidisciplinary contemporary arts program, bringing artists across disciplines together with communities to examine ideas through the processes of producing contemporary art. Lisa has developed and managed a range of national and international exchange, exhibition and residency programs and has lectured in management and organisation (Master of Fine Arts) at the University of New South Wales. After failing at both ballet and physical education, Lisa had a short career as a strapper and trainer for the sport of endurance riding. Though Lisa’s heart belongs to the St George Illawara Dragons, since relocating to Sydney she has been secretly romancing their rivals, the South Sydney Rabbitohs.