Watt Space Gallery would like to thank the University of Newcastle for the dedication of the previously known Annual Student Travelling Scholarship in Penny Finnigan’s name.
This annual prize worth $2500 will now be known as
The Penny Finnigan Scholarship.
Watt Space Gallery and University Staff have also placed a plaque in her honour within the Watt Space Gallery. It reads;
Remembering Penny Finnigan
Penny’s initial connection with Watt Space was as a student committee member in the early 1990’s. She was appointed Gallery Director in 1996, a position she held untill1999. Penny returned as a curator of Watt Space in 2012, where she continued to champion the Gallery until she passed away in June 2017.
As Gallery Director and Curator, Penny contributed a wealth of Knowledge to the management and preservation of Watt Space, gained from many years working with regional galleries in Newcastle and Broken Hill and a range of Art Committees. As an educator, she was a generous and committees teacher for the many student scholars, interns, committee members and exhibitors who came through Watt Space. The work-embedded learning opportunities offered through the gallery were acknowledged when Penny received the Vice Chancellors award for Integrated Learning in 2013.
Penny’s contribution to the refurbishment of the heritage-listed Northumberland House as the new gallery was critical. Her insistence that the gallery be finished to the highest standard was typical of her belief in the future of Watt Space. Penny will be remembered for her absolute dedication to the students of the University of Newcastle, and for those who knew her, the Gallery will always be a tribute to her work.