AGWA Foundation Stimulus Package

In support of the WA arts community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the AGWA Board and the AGWA Foundation have announced a sector-leading stimulus package of up to $1.5 million for Western Australian artists.

Through funding from the AGWA Foundation, the new initiative will provide support for all living West Australian artists represented in the State Art Collection and Aboriginal art centres across the State.

More than 350 Western Australian artists represented in the State Art Collection will receive $2,000 towards creating a richer State Art Collection archive. This will generate up-to-date, online archival content, focusing on expanded artist biographies, artist statements and extended insights into artistic practice.

In addition, independent and art centre-based Aboriginal artists will share up to $525,000 through a targeted acquisition program to purchase existing works from up to 15 independent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and from 25 Aboriginal art centres.

In total, more than 400 Western Australian artists will directly benefit from the initiative, injecting up to $1.5 million into the arts sector economy.

The initiative will support the development of the State Art Collection, provide an invaluable and much-needed digital archive, and support the Aboriginal artist community whose market has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic restrictions.

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About the Stimulus Package

How do you register for the initiative?

There is no registration required for the initiative. The Gallery is directly contacting a list of eligible Western Australian artists whose work is held in the State Art Collection. Artists will be contacted by early June. 

Eligible artists are living artists represented in the State Art Collection, and who meet the following criteria:

  • An artist who has spent the majority of their life and professional arts practice in Western Australia (10 years+)
  • An artist who has contributed to the WA arts culture sector and, for example, held solo exhibitions in WA galleries, participated in WA group exhibitions, public art commissions
  • Is recognised by WA peers through reviews, publications, art collections, awards
  • An artist born in WA

How are the Aboriginal art centres and independent artists selected? 

Aboriginal art centres in Western Australia come in all sizes. Therefore, we are taking a scaled approach to the way we support art centres across the State. In negotiation with each art centre, AGWA will purchase existing works of art by living artists up to an agreed total value. The total value spent on purchasing works of art from an art centre will be commensurate with the size of the art centre and the current market value of an artist’s work. AGWA and AACHWA (Aboriginal Art Centre Hub Western Australia) will work together to determine what’s fair and how best to support WA art centres. AGWA also seeks to support independent artists practising in Western Australia, particularly those living in the South West region, where there are no art centres currently operating. The acquisition process for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art will follow AGWA's standard practice. Selected works will enrich the State Art Collection and add to the narratives of this State.

What is the timeline and process involved with the project?

AGWA is adapting and working quickly to ensure the funding is distributed as quickly as possible. The Gallery will be contacting art centres and artists from 25 May 2020. We anticipate first funding will be processed within a month. Archival content is expected to be received by participating artists by the end of the year. 

Thank you to AGWA Foundation members

It is a privilege to be in a position to support the artists and Aboriginal art centres whose work is collected for the State, and invest in making the State Art Collection richer for all. A privilege afforded by the generosity and commitment to the development of the State Art Gallery by AGWA Foundation members.

On behalf of the AGWA Board and Foundation Council, we thank our members for their foresight, ongoing support for your State Art Gallery, and belief in its strong cultural leadership.

About the Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation

Since its inception in 1989, the AGWA Foundation has had an extraordinary impact on the Gallery, with three-quarters of acquisitions in recent years attributed to the generosity of contributions through the Foundation.

This ability to acquire works has a profound impact not only on the Collection but also on the vitality of the cultural sector in Western Australia, with gifts via the Foundation also supporting special projects, and exhibitions drawn from the State Art Collection and around the world.

At this time of emergency, the Foundation is pleased to extend immediate support to Western Australian artists represented in the Collection, and supporting the Aboriginal arts community. In addition to immediate help for artists, the archival content and acquisitions will further enrich the State Art Collection, thus benefitting all West Australians into the future.

Support the Foundation