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Defend Griffith University Art Museum [GUAM]: Preserve Our Artistic and Cultural Legacy!

GUAM is a vital hub of contemporary art, research and education that has been an integral part of Queensland’s artistic landscape since the 1970s.

Defend GUAM Student Collective

8 December 2023
Why this petition matters

Started by
Defend GUAM

The deeply concerned students, alumni, artists, and supporters of Griffith University Art Museum (GUAM), unite in solidarity to oppose GUAM’s proposed closure by Griffith University in February 2024. This closure will have major implications for the cultural and educational landscape in Queensland.


GUAM is a vital hub of contemporary art, research and education that has been an integral part of Queensland’s artistic landscape since the 1970s. GUAM has stood as a AAA-rated powerhouse despite its modest budget and serves as the custodian of the second-largest public art collection in Queensland, surpassed only by QAGOMA.


Closing its operations will not only result in the deprivation of both students and the broader arts community of an institution that plays a pivotal role in fostering critical discourse on contemporary art practices, but it will also significantly diminish Griffith University’s standing, placing it at a disadvantage relative to its principal academic rivals.


The Consequences:


Leave Griffith University as the only major Queensland University without an art museum and exhibition program
Deprive prospective students, current students and alumni of an important link between the university and the arts industry

Loss of valuable staff and a rich cultural institution within the social fabric of the Queensland arts sector

Threaten the fate of vital collaborations such as Taring Padi and proppaNOW, which was set to unfold in 2024
Narrow opportunities for practicing artists to exhibit their work and to pursue further national and international exposure
Devastate Griffith University’s credibility nationally and internationally

Why We Must Act:


GUAM is a hotspot of exhibitions, workshops, scholarship, research, and internships

Provides invaluable opportunities for students and the community to engage with leading Australian and international artists.

Employs students and alumni enabling the development of essential skills for the gallery sector

Fosters a vibrant artistic community that is vital for cultural enrichment, particularly in the lead up to the 2032 Olympics when Brisbane’s arts and culture will be in the spotlight.

Discredits Griffith University’s values of social justice, public engagement and community collaboration

Fails to recognise the strategic importance of investing in a flourishing and diverse artistic community

We call upon Griffith University to:


Halt the proposed closure of GUAM
Recognise GUAM’s continuing role in fostering critical engagement with contemporary art practice

Provide transparent and meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders regarding the future of GUAM

Explore alternatives to the closure that preserve the rich cultural heritage and educational opportunities GUAM offers as an institution for all

Take Action:


Sign this petition and add your comments to send a clear message to Griffith University leadership that we all stand united in defence of GUAM. Together, we can #DefendGUAM and prevent the closure of this vital institution. Be a part of ensuring that future generations can continue to be enriched by GUAM and its engagement with contemporary art practice.


Petition submissions due by Thursday December 14 to ensure we can send the comments and petition signatories to Griffith University leadership prior to the feedback cut-off date of Friday December 15.


We also encourage you to share this on your socials and to make email submissions to and by Friday.


You can read Griffith University’s FAQ’s on the matter here:


Written by the DefendGUAM Student Collective


Let’s work together to preserve GUAM and its legacy as a beacon of art, research and education in Queensland. Sign and share this petition widely to make a difference!


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