The peak body protecting and promoting the Australian visual arts sector

Art Industry Research

Underpinning NAVA’s advocacy work is the research it commissions or undertakes itself into the nature of Australian visual and media arts, craft and design, identifying policies and strategic actions which could be taken to facilitate the sector’s fruitful development.

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Craft and Design

Designing for a better Australia

NCI website newspost

Recognising the importance of craft and design within an increasingly complex social, economic, and cultural ecology, at the end of 2009 NAVA began the process of establishing a new peak body to promote Australian design. The Australian Design Alliance [AdA] was launched in September 2010. Following this, the National Craft Initiative (NCI) was launched in March 2013.

Gender Equality

The CoUNTess Report

Countess

NAVA backs the research of CoUNTess: a report on gender representation in the contemporary visual arts released to coincide with International Women’s Day 2016. It reveals that there is a continuing imbalance of power with men holding more positions at senior levels and male artists significantly better represented by commercial galleries.

Indigenous Art Code

To promote fair and ethical trade

Indigenous Art Code

The Indigenous Art Code was developed in the first instance by NAVA and then by the Australia Council for the Arts, who worked closely with an Industry Alliance Group made up of artists, Indigenous art centres, commercial art galleries, public art galleries, auction houses and visual arts peak bodies; including the Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists, Umi Arts, Ananguku Arts, Desart, Australian Commercial Galleries Association, NAVA and the Australian Indigenous Art Trade Association.

After a period of public consultation the Industry Alliance Group endorsed a final Code in August 2009. The Code was publicly launched on 29 November 2010.

National Visual Arts Agenda

30 Year Vision

GG portrait

Dame Quentin Bryce, AC CVO. Photo by Jennifer Brankin, Polixenni Photography, 2013

In December 2013, NAVA launched its National Visual Arts Agenda outlining a 30 year vision which would see artists play a central role in all aspects of Australian life and help transform Australia into a truly great art nation. The National Visual Arts Agenda is drawn from NAVA’s long years of consultation, policy development and advocacy on behalf of the sector.

Small-to-Medium (S2M)

Economic Study

S2M Report 2017

S2M Report 2017.

Image: Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Richard Bell, Morphett Street Mural, production view, 2016.

Photo: Marie Falcinella

NAVA commissioned Economists at Large to measure the economic and cultural output of Australia’s small-to-medium (S2M) visual arts organisations. Throughout 2016, we conducted surveys of urban and regional galleries, artist-run initiatives (ARIs), Australian Craft and Design Centres (ACDCs) and Contemporary Arts Organisations (CAO).

The data in this study reveals that the small-to-medium (S2M) visual arts sector employs over 2,000 people, puts $100 million into the economy and produces 26,000 new art works each year with a budget worth just 0.03% of Federal Government revenue. However, there has been a 17.5% decline in per capita federal arts spending from 2008 to 2013.

This research project was supported by a Knowledge Exchange Grant from the City of Sydney.

Visual Arts Code and Policy

VAIGRP

Files

In 2001 the four year Visual Arts Industry Guidelines Research Project (VAIGRP) produced:

  • The Code of Practice for the Australian Visual Arts and Craft Sector;
  • Ideas for Policy and Legislation;
  • a series of research reports on various aspects of the art industry.

The outcomes were used to inform the work of the Commonwealth Government’s ‘Contemporary Visual Arts and Craft Inquiry’.

With funding from the Australian Research Council and a contribution from the Australia Council, this project was initiated by NAVA and undertaken in partnership with the Universities of Sydney and Macquarie and the Art Gallery of NSW, a year later joined by Simpsons Solicitors.

Visual Arts Big Picture

In 2005 the final report was released of another NAVA initiated major research project. The Big Picture: a Planning Matrix for the Australian Visual Arts and Craft Sector which studied the impact on the sector of five intersecting forces significantly determining its fate:

Government Policy;

Economic Environment;

Globalisation;

Technological Change;

Community Attitudes.

The report identified key trends and made 22 propositions for action.

Again with funding from the Australian Research Council and a contribution from the Australia Council, this research project was undertaken by NAVA in partnership with the Department of Art History and Theory at the University of Sydney.

Sector Research by Others

First We See: National Review of Visual Education

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Nora Speyer, aged 7, Lions, 2014 work on paper.

The National Review of Education in Visual Arts, Craft, Design and Visual Communication was commissioned in 2005 by the Australia Council with the then Australian Government Department of Education Science and Training (DEST) (now the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR]) and in cooperation with the then Australian Government Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) (now the Australian Government Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts [DEWHA]). A national Steering Committee of key leaders and stakeholders in arts and education sectors, including NAVA, provided advice about the Review and assisted researchers with important connections to key issues and problems.

Present State, WA

Present State

Over the past few years, opportunities for visual artists in Western Australia appear to have declined, prompting calls from the sector to create a more sustainable industry.

In 2016, the Department of Culture and the Arts (DCA) prepared this discussion paper to provide an overview of the visual arts sector in Western Australia to understand what is required to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the sector.

Connecting Australians: Results of the National Arts Participation Survey

Connecting Australians

Connecting Australians: Results of the National Arts Participation Survey is the third in a landmark series by the Australia Council for the Arts, following editions in 2009 and 2013. It measures Australians’ engagement with the arts in 2016 – attending arts events, exhibitions and festivals; reading; listening to music; sharing and connecting with the arts online; and creating art themselves. The arts encompass theatre, dance, visual arts and craft, music, literature, First Nations and cross-art form work. Engagement with a person’s own cultural background through the arts is articulated for the first time, along with festival attendance and community arts and cultural development activities. The survey also captures the value of the arts to Australians through their attitudes, views about the impacts of the arts, and propensity to donate time or money to the arts.

Recalibrating Culture: Production, Consumption, Policy

Recalibrating Culture

Professors Deborah Stevenson and David Rowe from the Institute for Culture and Society and a research team are examining the changing modes of cultural activity and participation in Australia. This project is funded by the Australian Research Council through its Linkage Projects grant scheme in collaboration with seven industry partners.


The purpose of the Australian Research Council Project - Recalibrating Culture: Production, Consumption, Policy is to understand the work practices of artists and cultural practitioners who live and/or practice in Greater Western Sydney. The research aimed to find out about the nature of artistic and cultural practice, how that work is undertaken, where it is done, and what is needed for arts and cultural practice to happen and prosper.

Private sector support grows for the arts in Australia

Pixabay

The Bureau of Communications and Arts Research (BCAR), in collaboration with Creative Partnerships Australia, released new analysis on private sector support for Australia’s vibrant arts and culture sector.

The analysis estimates that private sector support to the arts in Australia has increased since 2009–10 from $221.1 million to between $268.5 million and $279.8 million in 2015–16.