In a surprise about-face, Sydney University has cancelled its intended merger of the Sydney College of the Arts with the University of New South Wales, announcing that SCA will be encompassed in the University’s faculty of arts and social sciences and relocated to the Camperdown/Darlington campus. The Sydney art world remains unimpressed with the planned relocation, with gallery owners and philanthropists continuing to declare their opposition to the move from SCA’s current Callan Park campus.
While merger cancellation news may provide welcome relief for SCA staff and students the fate of those at the National Art School remains uncertain. NAS Director Michael Snelling recently announced that he is moving overseas to join his partner who, ironically, has been appointed as Director of a $2.8 billion government-sponsored museum in Hong Kong, scheduled to open in 2019. While a more permanent replacement is sought, the directorship will be taken up by arts industry ‘heavy hitter’ Michael Lynch, who sees maintaining the school’s independence as the crucial factor for its future.