Vale Peter Byers Wed 20 June 2012 Damian Bugg Chair, Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board The Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board today expressed its sadness over the passing of its former chair Peter Byers, a respected contributor to the arts and education in Tasmania. Current TAAB chair Damian Bugg said Mr Byers vision and contribution to the arts in the state will be sadly missed. "Mr Byers' key contribution during his tenure as Chair of the TAAB was to instigate the Tasmanian Government's highly successful Public Art Program," Mr Bugg said. "It's the oldest public art program in Australia having been in operation for 32 years and it has been emulated by a number of jurisdictions around the country." Mr Bugg said the program has resulted in significant employment and showcasing opportunities for Tasmanian artists. "The program represents an important investment in large scale, built-in and significant artworks which are extremely valued by people of Tasmania," Mr Bugg said. "It creates a vital public face for Tasmania's professional artistic community, providing an interface between artists and the general public. "Mr Byers was also the creator of the public art collection at the University of Tasmania which is now one of the largest collections in the state. "He was a passionate contributor to arts in Tasmanian and he will be sadly missed. "Our sincere condolences and thoughts are with his family at this very sad time."