The Economic Status of the Artist

Creative Entrepreneur, arts worker and sole trader

This Australian – Canadian dialogue will focus on the future economic status of the artist in Australia. Fluctuating market demand for visual art represents a significant challenge for artists at every stage of their careers, and major disruptions to the arts and cultural sector in 2020 have compounded financial insecurities. Paddy Lamb, the President of CARFAC, the peak artists’ body in Canada and Mimi Crowe, Advocacy Director at the National Association for the Visual Arts, will join Grace McQuilten (RMIT) in an exploration of what we can learn from CARFAC’s experiences of organizing artistic labour and its role in promoting regulatory responses to artists’ remuneration. The discussion also includes two short segments that put a spotlight on artists’ diverse ways of making a living. The artists featured are Julie Shiels and Genevieve Grieves. The Panel will be chaired by Kate MacNeill (University of Melbourne). Both Kate and Grace are CIs on the ARC Linkage Project, Ambitious and Fair: creative labour and best practices for the Australian visual arts sector together with their colleagues: Dr Marnie Badham (RMIT) and Associate Professor Jenny Lye (University of Melbourne).

Kate MacNeill - Associate Professor in Arts and Cultural Management in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne and a COVA Fellow.
Paddy Lamb is currently President and National Spokesperson for CARFAC and co-chair of Copyright Visual Arts Canada. Paddy is a Canadian, Irish, Ulster-Scots, Quaker, Huguenot, Celtic, Proto-Indo-European citizen of the world. Born in Armagh, Northern Ireland, he studied Modern History at Trinity College, Dublin, and has a post-graduate degree from the University of Alberta. He has maintained a studio practice as a visual artist for 20 years. His work is strongly influenced by history, memory and social culture, offering a personal narrative concerning human migration and attachment to the land.

Dr Grace McQuilten has pioneered research on the model of social enterprise in the arts in Australia and used the vehicle of art and design to advocate for social inclusion, with a focus on new migrant and refugee communities. Grace has a multidisciplinary approach that engages with a range of fields including art, design, architecture, sustainability, sociology, business and international development. Her research has resulted in the implementation of new models of social enterprise across Australia. Dr McQuilten is the leader of the Contemporary Art and Social Transformation research group in the School of Art at RMIT.

Mimi Crowe has recently joined NAVA from the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), where she was the Producer of Tarnanthi, a national festival of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. With over a decade of experience as an arts and creative industries leader and advocate, Mimi has worked with South Australia’s major cultural institutions and arts organisations, previously holding roles such as the Head of Development & Strategy at State Theatre SA, General Manager, Office for Design + Architecture SA (formerly Integrated Design Commission SA) and Manager Cultural Heritage at Arts SA. Mimi is currently a Board Member at Brink Productions and previously for ActNow Theatre.

Julie Shiels – Julie makes work for both the gallery and public space. Throughout her career has been both an artist and project manager. She developed her process-based methods over two decades, working collaboratively with culturally diverse communities, museums and arts organisations, and with local councils

Genevieve Grieves – is a Worimi woman – traditionally from mid north coast New South Wales who has lived in Narrm (Melbourne) for many years. She is an award-winning Indigenous artist, researcher, educator, curator, filmmaker and oral historian who has accumulated twenty years’ experience across the arts, culture and education sectors.

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