A Fairer Deal for Visual Artists and the Crafts Sector

Launch - Wednesday 8 August 2001
James O. Fairfax Theatre
National Gallery of Australia
9.00am - 5.00pm

The Visual Arts Industry Guidelines Research Project is funded by the Australian Research Council, the Australia Council and industry partners


Professor Terry Smith, Director Power Institute, University of Sydney

Ms Tamara Winikoff, Executive Director, National Association for the Visual Arts

Associate Professor Ron Callus, Director, Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training, University of Sydney

Professor David Throsby, School of Economics, Macquarie University

Mr Tony Bond, General Manager Curatorial Services, Chief Curator of Western Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Mr Shane Simpson, Principal, Simpsons Solicitors

Starving in the garret is no longer the model for the 21st century visual or craft artist - two new codes to be launched in Canberra should ensure a much better deal for the sector.

The Code of Practice for the Australian Visual Arts and Craft Sector and Valuing Art, Respecting Culture: Protocols for Working with the Australian Indigenous Visual Arts and Craft Sector will be launched during a day-long forum at the National Gallery of Australia.

Artists Mandy Martin and Mike Parr, gallery owner Gene Sherman and ethicist Simon Longstaff will speak about the need for the Code, which covers such issues as contracts with gallery owners, timely payment, honouring copyright and moral rights of artists.

The day will feature a presentation of new protocols for working with the Australian Indigenous Visual Arts and Craft Sector, called Valuing Art, Respecting Culture, by author Doreen Mellor and legal contributor Terri Janke.

Despite the international success of Indigenous visual arts and craft, serious malpractices have occurred through copyright breaches, appropriation and unfair trading practices. Valuing Art, Respecting Culture addresses these issues constructively.

Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, Tamara Winikoff, said:

'For too long there has been no benchmark to guide the relationship between artists and those they deal with professionally. Often this causes heartache and misunderstanding.

In dealings with Indigenous artists and communities, the new guidelines on appropriate cultural protocols will greatly improve understanding on both sides.

The visual arts is a major industry, and its practitioners are often small businesses, with all the responsibilities that involves. It is more than time that things were sorted out.

All the sector is asking for is a fair deal, and these two Codes, which we anticipate will be endorsed by practitioners, governments and all the peak arts bodies, will go a long way to achieving this.'

The day will end with a panel discussion at Parliament House, chaired by Michael Cathcart of ABC Radio National, where Arts Minister Peter McGauran and Shadow Arts Minister Bob McMullan, Senator Aden Ridgeway and Senator Bob Brown will respond to the Code and other issues on policy in the visual arts raised during the day.

Admission to this final session is free and registration for the daytime forum is not a prerequisite.

Registration for the day: $55/$33 (incl. GST). Concession rate applies to NAVA and CAM members, artists and all concession card holders.

Enquiries & Registrations Contact
Expert Conferences
phone + 61 2 6257 6970

Media Contact
Marilyn Chalkley
phone +61 2 6260 6500 or 0418 624 304

Note for journalists
Advance briefing materials will be available under embargo the week before the forum. Please contact Marilyn Chalkley if you would like a media pass to the forum.