Feasibility study into a major visual arts event for Western Australia.

Lotterywest convened and facilitated a meeting to assess the appetite for conducting a feasibility study into a major visual arts event in Western Australia. The meeting resolved unanimously to proceed with a study to ascertain the potential shape and feasibility of such an event.

Following a tender process and formal application to Lotterywest for funds, a consultancy team was identified to undertake the work and the Lotterywest grant was put in place allowing us to proceed.

It is important to note that this is a feasibility study only, designed specifically to ascertain whether a new Visual Arts Event for the state is viable. The study involved liaising closely with existing arts organisations to look at what is already happening, what has taken place in the past, what has worked and what hasn't. The aim was to gain a clear understanding of what may be viable for the future, given current resources. No decisions were taken in advance and the consultants undertook a wide consultation.

To facilitate the study, we devised the following structure for overseeing and participating in the project:

  • The Project Control Group (PCG) existed to manage the project. It was not making decisions, nor steering the outcome of the study. The group included Lynda Dorrington (FORM), Tina Wilson (ARTrinsic / Black Swan Prize), Professor Ted Snell (Cultural Precinct, UWA) and Gavin Buckley (Artsource, also acting as administrator for the Lotterywest grant). This group volunteered to undertake the day-to-day legwork around preparation of the application and managed the grant and management of the consultancy on behalf of the Project Steering Group.
  • The Project Steering Group (PSG) includes all organisations invited by Lotterywest to the initial meeting last year and a number of other organisations with a keen interest in participating. A full list of the organisations currently included in the PSG is here. It’s not an exclusive group, so if we happened to have inadvertently missed any interested organisations they were welcome to join (please let us know). Everyone in the PSG was invited to attend the first briefing meeting with the consultants and was involved in the information gathering and consultation stage of the study. Indeed, it is vital that the study is inclusive and brings everyone on the journey.
  • Artists and other interested individuals were invited to contribute their ideas, thoughts and comments via an online survey, a public blog and email.

Principal Consultants

  • Mike Rees, Director, Inside Lane
  • Shani Wood, Director, SW Events

Consultancy Reference Group 

  • Alan Dodge, Consultant, former Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia
  • Amanda McDonald Crowley, New York based curator and facilitator
  • Elizabeth Ann McGregor, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
  • Fiona McIntosh, Visual Art events, funding and venues
  • Carly Davenport Acker, Indigenous Art Curator and Project Manager
  • Richard Walley, Educator, Performing Artist, Consultant
  • Gael Newton, Senior Curator of Photography, National Gallery of Australia

The consultants were required to engage with the Project Steering Group as follows:

  • present the project plan prior to starting
  • consult with members of the group
  • present the final report to the group

Thank you for your interest in this exciting project.

Ted Snell
Director, Cultural Precinct, University of Western Australia

Lynda Dorrington
Executive Director, FORM

Tina Wilson
Executive Director, ARTrinsic

Gavin Buckley
Chief Executive Officer, Artsource