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Hany Armanious Interface (detail), 2011 pigmented polyurethane resin, pewter 136 x 120 x 15 cm image by Greg Weight

1.1 Visual Arts in Australia
The visual arts sector is made up of publicly subsidised galleries, production and presentation organisations and agencies, the museum sector and universities, commercial galleries and markets. Visual arts is an umbrella term for a broad range of artistic practices that can range from craft, live and performance art, film, new media, sound art, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and installation art. This list is not exhaustive and visual arts practices often intersect with creative industry disciplines such as architecture, design, fashion, film and graphic arts. Contemporary visual art is difficult to define and art works can be produced in any medium or material. A visual art work can be an object based, ephemeral, time-based or in the case of artists exploring socially engaged practice, require communities and other people to manifest the work. Visual art works can be experienced in or outside the gallery context and increasingly many visual artists work outside of the gallery system, creating work in the public realm, at festivals, on hand held and tablet devices, for cinemas, theatres and performance spaces. Many visual artists also engage in making work that acknowledges artistic traditions but which also has new conversations with them. The way in which visual artists find endorsement for their work and a market is complex. Public and commercial factors play a key role in talent spotting, providing professional development opportunities for visual artists, showcase opportunities, distribution and engagement with audiences. The operating context for visual arts organizations and artists is also complex but the infrastructure across the public and commercial sectors is welldeveloped and exists in a symbiotic relationship. The urban cities in Australia are fast becoming international centres for visual arts and there has been unprecedented and continued growth in exhibitions, events and subsequently audiences for the visual arts, from the blockbuster shows at the major museums, to the proliferation in artist-run initiatives. For example, the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, presented by the Gallery of th Modern Art in Brisbane, attracted over 500,000 visitors in 2009/10 and attendance at the 17 Biennale of Sydney rose by 19 percent to 517,000. In the urban cities hubs have formed around universities, attracting higher numbers of artists. Changing artistic practice and attitudes to audiences has democratised the visual arts enabling more people to become exposed to, and enjoy the visual arts. Apart from museum „block buster‟ style exhibitions, and work shown in cinema, theatres, or ticketed festivals, visual arts is usually free for audiences to experience, even via a commercial gallery exhibition. Visual artists and arts organisations have to be entrepreneurial in raising funds or capitalising on opportunities to create and show work in the absence of box office receipts. Ambition and growth in the visual arts sector has been sustained by artists and visual arts organisations entering into sophisticated partnerships with commercial galleries, seeking international partners, and there is an increasing reliance on corporate sponsorship, individual donors, trusts and foundations. In 2012/13 it is important that we protect the success of the visual arts sector, recognize the fragility but also strengthen the business model, and put in place strategies to shore up the infrastructure in order to offer maximum opportunities for artists. A unique element of the visual arts sector that has international, national and local attention is the work being made by indigenous artists, which draws on a long heritage but also adds contemporary voices to this lineage. This work is known across the world and is more recently being curated into major international biennials and triennials. It engages with a local, national and international market but also affords opportunities for community and skills development, and the preservation of culture and heritage. It requires particular skills, care and attention in mediating and bringing this work to audiences in a respectful way.

1.2 The Visual Arts Sector and the Australia Council
The Visual Arts Board funding currently supports key contemporary visual arts organisations from artist run initiatives, small to medium scale galleries, artists‟ studios, large scale galleries, production and presentation agencies, service organisations, and a small publishing portfolio. The Visual Arts Board has grant programmes for new work, fellowships, presentation and promotion and skills development, and the Visual Arts Board maintains 10 international studios for Australian artists, which are located in Helsinki, Liverpool, Barcelona, London, New York (Manhattan and Brooklyn), Paris, Rome, Tokyo and Berlin. The above investment in grants and key organizations is augmented by time-limited strategic initiatives to address gaps or react to new opportunities and provide targeted help. Recent initiatives include curator research grants, international visitors programme, specific funding for ISEA 2013, and a national craft initiative. It is through the strategic initiatives funding that the Visual Arts Board partners with other parts of the Australia Council and currently has joint funded programmes with Inter-Arts and Community Partnerships. The visual arts sector is also resourced by the Council‟s Arts Development division, through market development programmes such as Art Fare, and strategic work with China and Korea to open up the markets for artists and arts organizations. Arts Development also support and produce Australia‟s representation at the Venice Biennale, which is a significant event for showcasing contemporary Australian visual arts. Council wide funding programmes Artstart and Opportunities for Young and Emerging Artists have supported individual artists and artist run initiatives. These programmes have been critical in helping artists self organize their careers and start the journey of building endorsement for their work. Artist run initiatives are essential for artists to gain exposure to audiences, critics, and commercial dealers, helping to raise the profile of the artists‟ involved. It is important to continue to support the best of these initiatives and encourage good practice within them such as artistic quality, mentoring and collaborative opportunities, market opportunities and engagement with audiences. Artsupport also plays an important role in the visual arts sector, giving the sector skills, contacts and helping the sector develop new income streams. Recent successes include crowd funding, securing trusts and foundation funding, and corporate resources for small to medium scale visual arts organizations. In addition to support provided by the Australia Council, the sector is assisted by many valuable additional partnerships. State and local governments provide much of the physical infrastructure through the buildings and grants to galleries, they also provide grants for artists and artist run initiatives. They are also able to unlock funds and partnerships for capital new build, repairs, and renewals. Some states and territories have active public art programmes, and invest in festivals and other public realm commissioning. The Australia Council has a large influence in the sector beyond the level of its financial contribution for the following reasons: Its investment is primarily in the makers of work, both artists and organisations who mediate and show work, and the infrastructure forms itself around the creative energy of artists; Its funding decisions are strongly driven by artistic excellence, however defined. Such funding is rare and highly sought – most other funding sources have more mixed agendas. This gives its funds a leverage value well beyond the actual amounts involved.


The Australian Visual Arts Sector Ecosystem

National Identity, international and national visual arts culture; producers, presenters, collectors and conceptualists
The intangible value of the sector

Skills & Professional Development
Contemporary Visual Art Galleries (CAOS) State Craft Organisations Arts Centres (e.g. Fremantle Arts Centre) Artist Run Initiatives Service Organisations (NAVA, MAGS) Studio Residencies: International and National Tertiary studies (Universities ,TAFE) Commercial Visual Arts Courses (Julian Ashton) Mentorships, Fellowships, Workshops, Forums & Symposia Education programs (state & national galleries & museums) Scholarships (Samstag) Prizes and competitions

Professional Service Organisations
Arts Law Copyright Organisations (Australian Copyright Council) NAVA Craft Australia Exhibition Touring (NETS Network) Conservation services Independent consultants Agents & dealers Contractors (foundries, manufacturers, suppliers) Philanthropic organisations and foundations Industrial relations Art rental organisations Studios (Liverpool, Tokyo, New York etc)

Market Development
Visual Arts Festivals: national and international Biennales and Triennials: national and International International curators visits to Australia International Art Fairs Publications and journals Media (radio, TV Arts) Exhibition openings and public programs International artists in residence programs & exchanges Prizes and competitions

Key areas of activity/orgs that build capital

LEGEND: Supported by VAB Supported by other Australia Council Areas Not supported by Australia Council

Creative personnel
Visual artists Media & sound artists Performance artists Designers Craftspeople Curators Exhibition designers Researchers Critics and writers on art Theorists & historians

Universities Artist studios Artist residencies (national and international) Artist Initiatives Public and private commissions Contemporary Art Orgs Project spaces Libraries Community organisations Publishers (national and international) Digital publishing Self published catalogues

Presentation & Distribution
Contemporary Art Orgs (IMA, Gertrude Contemporary) Public Museums (MCA, PICA) State galleries and museums (AGNSW, NGA, and NGV) Australian and international Biennales/triennials (Biennale of Sydney) Artist Run Initiatives (West Space) Regional galleries (Lismore, Cairns) Commercial Galleries International Art Fairs (Melbourne Art Fair) Artist Studios & Project spaces

Other artists Culturally Diverse communities Aboriginal Communities Visual Arts Administrators Gallery operators and agents Curators and Researchers Children and Youth Collectors Festival audiences Online audiences Schools and Universities General audience (national and international)

Didactic text Digital publications and distribution (zines, blogs) Visual Art Bookshops Libraries Public Art Online galleries and distributers Private Galleries Film and TV National & International Visual Arts Journals Artist monographs Catalogues

Key Stages in the Value Chain

Key Players in each Stage

Financial Support
VAB grants VACS VAB Residencies program VAB & cross Council initiatives Market Development and Community Partnership Professional organisations Foundations, Philanthropy Commissions

Strategic Development
IFACCA Research & Development (NAVA) Cultural Ministers Council Industry overview Research and analysis Leadership & advocacy Key Sector organisations (ACDC + CAO)

Legislation & Policy
Copyright Censorship Protocols Education Classification

Other Instruments
Tax Concessions Subsidies Diplomacy Trade Regulations IP Policy Moral rights Resale Royalty Scheme

Government Policies & Initiatives

Key areas of Government activity that influence the sector

1.4 Visual Arts Sector Needs and Opportunities
Support for artists Artists‟ fees continue to be an important issue and there needs to be a sector wide responsibility to ensure that artists are paid appropriately for their work and time. Artists also need to be supported by organisations that are able to create the conditions and opportunities for artists to develop their practice at all stages in their career. This can include studio space, residencies, mentoring, presentation and distribution of their work. Audiences, participation and engagement There are high and growing audiences for the visual arts and it is important that visual arts organisations are able to harness this support for their work and continue to attract audiences. In addition to marketing, building digital capacity for distribution and audience engagement, it is also important that arts organisations are able to develop longer term programmes of participation and engagement for new audiences who would not normally access visual arts. Sustainable visual arts organizations With a decline in public funding and an increased reliance on philanthropy, visual arts organisations need to be equipped with the skills and resources to develop new income streams, products and services. Rising costs has resulted in visual arts organisations finding it difficult to meet their core costs and overheads. In addition to this there is a growing need for capital investment in the established infrastructure. This is not sustainable into the future and strategies will need to be put in place to ensure the visual arts sector remains sustainable, resilient and innovative. Workforce development and mobility is key to the continued success of the visual arts sector and visual arts organisations are well placed to support sustainable career paths for curators. Global / Local There are opportunities for international showcases either through supporting artists to engage with major international biennials, commercial galleries to attend art fairs, and international exchange through reciprocal programmes for visual arts organisations and curators. In contrast to international opportunities there is a need to expose key international visitors to Australian artists, visual arts organisations, and major events, celebrating excellence. The visual arts sector also needs to find a balance between facing outwards and ensuring that there are opportunities for audiences to experience excellent visual arts across Australia, especially in remote areas. The above challenges are set against a backdrop of optimism and opportunity. Artists are afforded the time, space and money to make extraordinary works that are capturing global attention and visual arts organization are being held in high regard across the world: “Contemporary art in Australia is going to be the next big thing” said Richard Dorment in a recent article for the UK Daily Telegraph. This needs to be capitalized on not just through funding but joint work with partners to ensure that this sentiment is long term rather than a moment of glory. The proximity of Australia to Asia is an opportunity for artists and organizations. There is a rise in high quality museums, galleries and art fairs in the region that are hungry for content and partnerships. The visual arts sector has developed strong partnerships through the Contemporary Art Organisations (CAOS), National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS), and Australian Craft & Design Centres (ACDC) networks and working together will be key over the next year to put in strategies to address issues and challenges but also to capitalize on opportunities.

1.5 Visual Arts Board Goals & KPIs 2012-13 1.
Support the best artists and organisations to produce and present works of excellence
Outstanding artists at all stages of their career are supported to create excellent art. Develop and offer programs of skills development that recognize the current career pathways and opportunities for artists, and curators. A stable of artistically vibrant and sustainable key organizations that are offering opportunities for artists to produce and present their work and gain audiences and markets for their work.


Support international opportunities for artists and visual arts organisations
Development of opportunities for international artists and visual arts organizations to collaborate with Australian artists and visual arts organizations, and greater reciprocracy in artistic transactions and to establish and strengthen international partnerships. Encourage the presentation of Australian work internationally in the major visual arts events across the globe, including the major art fairs. International studio residencies for artists.


Support strategies that aim to have a continuing impact on the sector
Encourage cross art-form collaborations, opportunities and connections between the different components of the visual arts sector. Invest in and create opportunities for artists to find endorsement for their work in a complex market place by working collaboratively with public and commercial visual arts organizations who are talent spotting, providing professional development opportunities for artists, showcases, distribution and engagement with audiences. Facilitate networks that contribute to a stronger, vibrant and more resilient visual arts sector. Work with the visual arts sector to develop greater understanding of and engagement with audiences. Work with the visual arts sector on strategies to develop new income streams.

1.6. Visual Arts Board Work Plan 2012-2013
1. Support the best artists and organisations to produce and present works of excellence
Invest in New Work grants to early, mid-career and established artists. Invest in a Fellowship program for outstanding Australian artists. Invest in Skills and Art Development grants for artists and individuals who are involved in supporting artists. Invest in Presentation and Promotion grants for visual arts organizations to realize exceptional exhibitions and showcase artists work. Fund the Nick Waterlow OAM Fellowship, a curatorial mentorship program managed through the Biennale of Sydney Presentation of the Australia Council Visual Arts Laureate Award and the Australia Council Visual Arts Laureate Medal to outstanding artists and professionals in the visual arts sector. Partner the Qantas Foundation in their support of Australian visual arts Develop a new artist-run initiatives program based on evaluation of the Opportunities for Young and Emerging Artists grants. Develop a new curator initiative for visual arts organizations based on the evaluation of the previous scheme.

2. Support international opportunities for artists and visual arts organisations
Invest in the International Visitors Program to target key curators, artistic directors and other arts professionals Support Australian and international organisations to present the work of Australian contemporary artists in significant events through the Presentation and Promotion grants. Support the planning and realisation of the 2013 Venice Biennale. Continue the three-year partnership between the Australia Council and Anne and Gordon Samstag Program (University of South Australia) to fund two six-month residencies per year at the ISCP, New York Maintain 10 international studios for Australian artists in Helsinki, Liverpool, Barcelona, London, New York (Manhattan and Brooklyn), Paris, Rome, Tokyo and Berlin which provides up to 33 overseas residencies through Skills and Arts Development grants. Evaluate this program in 2012/13. Support artists commissions at ISEA 2013.

3. Support strategies that aim to have a continuing impact on the sector
Support key organisations through multi-year and VACS funding Work with key organisations to develop long-term digital technology strategies Develop strategic market development initiative to engage with new markets and develop new income streams. Support the Contemporary Art Organisations (CAOs) network and university museums and galleries to develop a strategic distribution plan for arts publications to reach new national and international markets Support ACDC network to develop a national strategic craft initiative. Research and develop a new visual arts sector plan 2013-2016.