Maningrida Arts & Culture (MAC), formally established in 1973, is one of the oldest Aboriginal Arts Centre in Australia. Based in Maningrida community, MAC is currently servicing more than 700 artists from Maningrida and its surrounding 34 outstations, covering an area of more than 10,000 square kilometres.
MAC has developed an enviable reputation in the fine arts market for high quality product with comprehensive cultural and biographical documentation. MAC currently organizes more than 20 commercial exhibitions per year to promote its artists. This has proven successful to provide a career path for artists and raise their profile at a national and international level. Additionally the arts centre engages in cultural maintenance activities including the production of dictionaries, music recording, preservation of the archives, supporting researchers and students, responding to the community’s request in respect of Cultural maintenance. MAC also maintains the Djomi Museum, Maningrida’s keeping place.
Bark painting, wooden and fibre sculpture, natural fibre items, since the 1970s prints, and more recently works in bronze and aluminium are created by the artists of MAC. The art of Maningrida is heterogeneous, dynamic and innovative, reflecting the diversity of languages and cultures present in the region. Many artists from MAC have won prestigious national prizes over the years such as the bark painting prize at NATSIAA in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2006 and the Wandjuk Marika Memorial Three-Dimensional Award at NATSIAA in 1996, 1997 and 2004. In 2003, John Mawurndjul was the first Indigenous artist to be awarded the prestigious Clemenger Contemporary Art Prize held at the National Gallery of Victoria. Other recent achievements include the participation of John Mawurndjul in the major public art commission for the Musee du Quai Branly, Paris, France.
In 2004, MAC opened a retail outlet in Darwin which focuses on affordable quality artworks from the Maningrida region. Located on 32 Mitchell Street in Darwin CBD, MAC Darwin has established itself as one of the best galleries in Darwin