The peak body protecting and promoting the Australian visual arts sector

Salon Sessions

A series of artist roundtables: participatory conversations on the visual arts, hosted by NAVA's Queensland Program Coordinator and funded by Arts Queensland.

Salon Session Toowoomba
Photo by Salt Studios

Brisbane

Thursday 24 November 2016 at This Must Be The Place, Fortitude Valley Qld


Facilitated by NAVA Queensland Program Coordinator, Carley Commens and introduction to the space by co-owner and co-director of This Must Be The Place (TMBTP), Sherryn Bledsoe.


The conversation took place in two parts:

  • Issues/challenges - what is happening in Brisbane at the moment, what barriers are in place for artists or what hurdles are artists coming up against?
  • Ideas/opportunities (People, Sector, Money) - what could be done or improved to help artists with the issues/challenges; what people you need in your corner to get things done; what programs or opportunities artists would like to see in the sector; and finally concerning money, ideas around how to access it or what the things need to be funded.
Salon Session BNE


Issues and challenges identified included:

  • lack of clear pathways for artists in the current arts ecology
  • lack of understanding of ability to access opportunities at certain career stages
  • a sense that the government and compliance structures around space use and access are incredibly hindering
  • ability to reach and maintain new audiences for local work
  • perception that there is a siloed and disparate nature of things happening in the sector
  • frustrations around the comparison of Brisbane in terms of lacking what Melbourne and Sydney have and produce.

Ideas and opportunities were less easily identified by the group in conversation but overall the sense that Brisbane identity and presence in the national view of visual arts is not clear to the average working artist in Brisbane.


Actions for NAVA:

Create focussed professional development resources around the 3 stands: People, Sector, and Money in NAVA's Queensland program.



Toowoomba

Thursday 15 December 2016, at Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Toowoomba.


Facilitated by NAVA Queensland Program Coordinator, Carley Commens in partnership with Raygun Projects and Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery.


The conversation took place in two parts:

  • Issues/challenges - what is happening in Toowoomba at the moment, what barriers are in place for artists or what hurdles are artists coming up against?
  • Ideas/opportunities - in 3 areas - People, Sector, Money. Taking the issues and challenges and seeing what could be done or improved in the 3 areas to help. What people you need in your corner to get things done, what programs or opportunities artists would like to see in the sector and finally concerning money, ideas around how to access it or what the things need to be funded.
Salon Session
Photo Salt Studios


Issues and challenges identified included:

  • Divide between feeling part of the community and feeling isolated as a regional artist
  • Difficulties in identifying quality data to support the positive impacts of the arts community in Toowoomba
  • Reticent to apply for larger (national) funding beyond local sources (RADF, TRC grants) due to lack of qualitative and quantitative data to tell their story well and share impacts
  • Perception that the local government encouragement of using spaces for arts and cultural activities is limited
  • Ability to reach and maintain new audiences for local work and make spaces enabling for ‘non arts’ people to feel encouraged to attend events/openings.


Ideas and opportunities identified included:

  • Potential for more communication between galleries, ARI’s and individual artists, encouraged by conversation at Salon Session with talk of more regular get together opportunities to share and listen,
  • Toowoomba Regional Council opportunity for spaces like Bell Street Mall urban renewal in similar fashion to Renew Newcastle,
  • Toowoomba produces excellent public art events (First Coat) which provides opportunities for research and impact measurement of vibrancy and well-being of communities through art,
  • Idea to share information about what’s on and potential to explore more focused region wide cultural tourism and arts events to leverage marketing and awareness (Art Fair, Festival, Studio visit trails etc).


Salon Sessions