- The McGowan Government has approved a $1.5 million support package for Western Australian artists during the COVID-19 emergency
- The initiative was developed by the Art Gallery of WA Board and the Art Gallery of WA Foundation
- Aboriginal art centres and independent artists will share in up to $525,000 towards a targeted acquisition program to purchase existing works for the State Art Collection
- In addition, more than 350 WA artists will receive $2,000 towards creating a State Art Collection archive
The McGowan Government has approved a $1.5 million support package, developed by the Art Gallery of Western Australia's Board and the Art Gallery's Foundation, to help Western Australian artists during the COVID-19 emergency.
Under the initiative, all living Western Australian artists represented in the State Art Collection will receive $2,000 towards creating an online State Art Collection archive.
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.
WA artists who receive the $2,000 will use the funding to generate archival content focusing on expanding artist bios, artist statements and extended insights into artistic practice.
The purchasing of Aboriginal artworks for the State Art Collection through the Aboriginal Art Centres, will both support the artists involved and their local community.
The Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) is working with the Aboriginal Art Centre Hub Western Australia (AACHWA) to ensure both small and large art centres are represented in the program.
The initiative will begin immediately.
Comments attributed to Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman:
"I am delighted to be able to announce this support for our artists, who have been having a difficult time through this crisis.
"This is a significant initiative developed by the Gallery and the Foundation, that will support Western Australian artists while enriching the State Art Collection, which is the State's greatest visual asset.
"The community value of the arts sector is increasingly clear as we connect through music, dance and art in this current time.
"I commend the AGWA Board and AGWA Foundation on their sector-leading stance and solidarity with the arts sector."
Comment attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:
"This initiative recognises the important contribution that Aboriginal artists make to Western Australian art.
"Aboriginal artists have been particularly impacted by the necessary restrictions brought in to stop the spread of COVID-19.
"This funding will provide vital support to the Aboriginal art centres located throughout Western Australia and ensure that artists are supported during this difficult period."
Comments attributed to AGWA Chairman Janet Holmes à Court:
"Visual artists in WA, as throughout Australia, are facing an uncertain future due to this pandemic. As a State Art Gallery, we wanted to look at how we can best support artists that are treasured by so much of the community so that we can welcome everyone to the Gallery in good mental and economic health as the pandemic recovery begins.
"This initiative provides immediate support to living West Australian artists represented in our collection while supporting the Aboriginal arts community, which has experienced a disproportionate loss of market access.
"Aside from the immediate help for artists, the archival content and acquisitions will further enrich the State Art Collection, thus benefitting all West Australians into the future."
Comments attributed to AGWA Foundation Chair, Warwick Hemsley:
"The driver of the AGWA Foundation is, and has always been, to support the State Art Gallery.
"This initiative extends to the artists and Aboriginal art centres whose work is collected for the State, and is an investment that will make the State Art Collection richer for all.
"Assisting Western Australian artists through COVID-19 to ensure we emerge with the sector intact is essential to AGWA and WA."
Minister's office - 6552 5400