Jack Wilkie-Jans

Cairns, Far North Queensland

Jack Wilkie-Jans is an artist, arts worker and Aboriginal affairs advocate from Tropical North Queensland of Aboriginal, British, Vanuatuan and Danish heritage. He is the Tribal Great Grandson of preeminent artist, Dr. Thancoupie Fletcher James AO.

Jack originally started his career in the arts as a volunteer arts worker, curator, events and exhibitions manager. He has since gone on to work freelance in the art industry’s Indigenous sector across a number of fields including advocacy, grant writing, event management, and also as an accomplished artist.

Exhibiting as an artist since 2011 in numerous solo and group exhibitions, as well as at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair over the years, Jack is an alumnus of the National Gallery of Australia’s Indigenous Arts Leadership Programme. In 2011 he was
awarded the Senator Jan McLucas Volunteer Recognition Award for his work with youth at risk, youth charities and for his efforts in strengthening the local Cairns arts and cultural scene.

In 2011 Jack was a recipient of a Starburst grant which was funded by Youth Arts Queensland. Managed by him, the ensuing project entailed arts mentoring workshops, resulting in the first exhibition opportunity for a number of young and emerging Cairns artists.

Also a writer, Jack’s work includes freelancing as an arts researcher, grant writer and reviewer. He has written for numerous websites, newspapers and independent magazines. Most recently, he served as the Grants Writer, Sponsorship Officer and Media & Promotions Officer for the Australia: Defending the Oceans project. Launching in Monaco in 2016, the project was a series of twelve exhibitions across North America and Europe (including the United Nations headquarters in both New York City and Geneva) and showcased contemporary Indigenous sculpture. The project concluded in late 2018.

Jack Wilkie-Jans has been acknowledged for his work as an artist and across the art industry many times. For example, in 2013 he was nominated for the Cairns Region Australia Day Awards for the Cultural Award. In 2015 was made an inaugural Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society. In 2018 he was a Baton Bearer for the Commonwealth Games relay.

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Acrylic paint on canvas

Jack Wilkie-Jans

Waanji Away

08 May — 17 June 2023