First Nations Curator Announced for YAM Opening Exhibition

Published on 12 August 2022


After seeking expressions of interest, Coffs Harbour City Council is excited to announce Tori Donnelly as First Nations Curator to lead the development and delivery of Yaam Gumbaynggirr Jagun: Here is Gumbaynggirr Country – the working title of one of the first exhibitions to open in the new Yarrila Arts and Museum (YAM).

After a competitive process, Donnelly was selected and will work with up to ten Gumbaynggirr artists to bring this to life.

Donnelly is an artist and curator with connections to Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung Country. Awarded Young Artist of the Year in 2018, her artwork embraces both traditional and contemporary art practices while expressing her spiritual and cultural beliefs.

Currently working at the Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Tori has made a significant contribution to the cultural fabric of the Gumbaynggirr region having been involved in curating exhibitions such as Salt Water Fresh Water for the Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance, and as a contributing artist to the The White Bluff Project for the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery.

“I am excited for the opportunity to work on this project and humbled to be selected as a representative to the Gumbaynggirr community in this role,” said Donnelly.

“I hope that we can shine a light on our continuous ownership of culture through art."

Chris Chapman, Council’s Director Sustainable Communities added; “This is a really important art exhibition for the city of Coffs, so I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to secure someone of Tori’s expertise and standing in the Gumbaynggirr community.

“I’m sure what she’ll be able to achieve with our local first nations artists will blow us all away as we walk through the doors of Yarrila Arts and Museum for the first time!”

Yaam Gumbaynggirr Jagun: Here is Gumbaynggirr Country is a separate project to the Gumbaynggirr Art Trail that will wind its way through the new building and animate the different public spaces.

Keep an eye on Council’s Cultural Services social media accounts for further updates.