Artspace and UNSW Art & Design share a commitment to fostering artists and curators and critically engaging audiences for contemporary art and culture.
It takes a broad range of organisations, individuals, networks and pathways to stimulate, nourish and challenge creative practitioners. Elements that underpin the development of artists and their careers in contemporary art are numerous, often including an educational foundation, hands-on experience of exhibiting, and ongoing development and support through grants, residencies and opportunities that enable the artists and curators to expand their practices.
Artspace and UNSW Art & Design are at the forefront of supporting and enabling professional practice. The two organisations share a common community and longstanding relationship dating back more than 30 years when UNSW Art & Design graduates like Louise McDonald, Wendy Sharpe, Maureen Duffy, and Ellen Cominskey, among others, took up a residencies early in their careers at the then new entity Artspace.
As the educational institution, UNSW Art & Design provides essential degree programs spanning media such as painting, drawing, photography, interactive media, printmaking, sculpture, performance and installation. Artspace then works as an incubator offering a supportive creative environment, critical engagement, national and international networks and visibility. Together the two organisations facilitate the creative process and professional development.
Among other innovations since taking up the role of Artspace Executive Director, Alexie Glass-Kantor, a UNSW Art & Design graduate (along with previous directors, Sally Couacaud and Nicholas Tsoutas), has introduced the Ideas Platform, an agile and responsive project space devoted to experimental practices located directly in the foyer of the building; perfect for artists new to the exhibiting scene and looking a flexible platform, free from tight scheduling restrictions.
Crucially Glass-Kantor has also expanded Artspace's all-important cost-free artist studio residency program to seven workspaces, plus four additional live-in residencies, operating on the second floor of the Gunnery building. To broaden and more fully support the artists in their career development, since 2015 successful resident artists have also been made UNSW Art & Design Visiting Fellows which includes full access to the UNSW Art & Design campus workshop facilities for the duration of their residency.
So far, leading artists such as Hany Armanious, Mikala Dwyer, Tim Silver, Kelly Doley (all UNSW Art & Design graduates), and Sydney-based Afghan artist, Khadim Ali (also a UNSW Art & Design graduate) have each won residencies and taken up fellowships with their alma mater.
Artspace's renewed focus on its residencies has also been accompanied by expanded industry and education sector linked public public programs. The upcoming International Visiting Curators Program is one example developed and presented by Artspace in partnership with UNSW Art & Design.
Next in the line-up for this talk series is the dynamic duo of Hong Kong-based curator, Inti Guerrero, and Emily Pethick, director of the Showroom in London on Wednesday 4 May from 6-8pm at Artspace.