The NAVA No-Nos

NAVA often receives advice from artists on opportunities that sound great, but once they've delved a little more deeply, they find that the opportunity is too good to be true.

In the past, we've simply refrained from promoting these opportunities and contacted the organisers to offer advice. However, because we're hearing such concerns from more and more artists, it's important we share their concerns so that, together, we're raising the bar on professional standards.

These are The NAVA No-Nos. 


This page outlines any awards, prizes, competitions, commissions or callouts which we do not list as opportunities on the NAVA website as there are aspects of the guidelines or terms and conditions which are unfair for artists.

Aspects that may be considered unfair are:

  • asking an artist to unnecessarily waive their moral rights
  • asking an artist to assign copyright
  • asking an artist to licence their work under unnecessary conditions such as in perpetuity or for all entrants to licence their work (rather than those selected for exhibition or an award)
  • asking an artist to licence their work for commercial use without payment
  • asking for an artist to provide concept drawings for a commission of new work as part of the callout process without payment
  • asking for an artist to exhibit work without allowing the work to be sold or payment of an artist fee i.e. payment in exposure

NAVA has contacted the organisers of these callouts outlining the concerns about the guidelines or terms and conditions and how they might be changed to work within best practice. The NAVA Code of Practice is the go-to resource for all such organisers, and NAVA is on hand for advice. 

The below is to help artists make informed decisions when choosing to respond to callouts.

Cape Paterson Public Art Commission

Bass Coast Council is seeking expressions of interests from artists to create a contemporary public artwork to be situated in the township of Cape Paterson.

The EOI document requires artists to submit visual material to augment the concept statement in the initial stage of the EOI process without any payment rather than including the submission of concept images on payment of a fee during the shortlisting process. 

City of Sydney Libraries artwork displays program

Expressions of interest are open to artists and organisations to use the display spaces in the City's library network to exhibit artwork.

The program does not permit the sale of artwork or offer an artist fee. Artist is only provided with exhibition space; installation, insurance and marketing costs must be covered by the artist.

Crown Sydney Artist Initiative

A competition with prizes for early career photographers. Total prize pool $57,500. Finalists will be showcased at the Crown Sydney Artist Initiative Finalist Exhibition.

All entrants grant Crown Resorts Limited a perpetual licence to reproduce, display, broadcast, print, and distribute their submitted image, in any format and in any medium, for any purpose associated with Crown Resorts Limited and the competition without any compensation. Purpose may include display or inclusion in any hotels and associated facilities owned, managed or operated by the Crown Resorts Group anywhere in the world.

Deniliquin Sculpture Project

The Long Paddock is seeking to add to the ARTback Sculpture Collection of 11 public artworks that are placed along the 610km of the Cobb Highway in South Western NSW. 

The artist brief require artists to submit a concept sketch as part of the initial response to the brief. There is also the inclusion of a presentation of design concept stage as part of the EOI process where artists are paid a fee, this being the stage at which the selected artists would submit concept sketches.

Eat Your Heart Out Liverpool City Council Artwork Commission

Liverpool City Council is looking for artists to produce works of art for Eat Your Heart Out Liverpool 2019. The EOI is for an immersive temporary art installation in an undercroft carpark and a street art mural.


The EOI document requires artists to submit concept images and a quote for the total project cost as an initial stage of the EOI process without any payment rather than including the submission of concept images on payment of a fee during the shortlisting process. 

Hoarding Commission, Lake Macquarie City Council

Lake Macquarie City Council is seeking to engage artists to create three temporary site specific artworks on construction hoarding.

The EOI document asks artists to submit artwork concept and budget, preferably in visual format as an initial stage of the EOI process without any payment rather than including the submission of concept images on payment of a fee during the shortlisting process. 

Kennedy Prize

An annual Australian painting award of $25,000 for works that embody, comment on or celebrate the theme of beauty. The winning work is acquired by the Kennedy Arts Foundation.

The terms and conditions for the awards state that the acquired Work will become the exclusive property of KAF including all intellectual property rights (including copyright) associated with the winning work.

Producer, First Nations, Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House is seeking a Producer, First Nations for coordination and presentation of First Nations projects, initiatives and events.

Under best practice this position should be a First Nations identified position rather than a targeted position due to the nature of the role working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander artists and audiences, with consideration to the cultural safety of artists and communities.

Reddall Reserve Commission, Shellharbour City Council

Shellharbour City Council is seeking to commission a new sculptural artwork to extend the Lake Illawarra Art Trail, a public art project which responds to the lake, its history and its people.


The EOI document requires artists to submit a one page drawing/image to accompany the written statement as part of the initial stage of the EOI process without any payment.

Riverlights Festival Finale Expression of Interest

Riverlights Multicultural Festival is one of Maitland Council's flagship events. The Riverlights finale will be a 10 – 15 minute large scale production activating the Hunter River and riverbank involving a colourful and vibrant performance including sound, light, water, lanterns, and sculpture.

The EOI document requires artists to submit concept images as an initial stage of the EOI process without any payment rather than including the submission of concept images on payment of a fee during the shortlisting process. 

Sculpture Commission, Frankston City Council

Frankston City Council is seeking expressions of interest for an original sculpture at the northern Nepean Highway entrance to the Frankston municipality. 

The EOI document requires artists to submit sketches and visual documentation adequate to convey the qualities of the proposed work as part of the initial stage of the EOI process without any payment. Further concept development is required at the shortlisting stage of the process on payment of a fee.

Soap Box, Maitland City Council

Maitland City Council is seeking expressions of interest for concepts for the space outside Maitland City Library which will be transformed into a multi-use small scale performance meeting space and
eating area, recreating the ‘Soap Box’ traditions of Hyde Park London and The Domain Sydney. 


The EOI document requires artists to submit a simple mock up or design as part of the initial stage of the EOI process without any payment. The commissioner will consider existing works, but the work must still reflect the site.

Stark Place, Sunshine Mural

The City of Brimbank is inviting expressions of interest for the development of the Stark Place, Sunshine mural project.

The EOI document requires artists to submit a rough concept drawing as part of the initial stage of the EOI process without any payment. The commissioner will consider existing works, but the work must still reflect the site.