Applications for the 2023 Porter Street Commission open on Tuesday 18 May 2022, and close at 5pm (ACST) on Tuesday 14 June 2022. The recipient will be announced in late June.

Now in its third year, the Porter Street Commission is an annual award supporting a major new artwork commission by a South Australian artist at any stage of their career.   

A total amount of $20,000 will be awarded to a selected artist for the purpose of producing an ambitious new work, which will be presented as part of ACE’s 2023 exhibition program as a solo exhibition across June to August. An artist fee of $3,000 (plus Superannuation) will be provided by ACE in addition to the $20,000.  

Applications will be considered by a selection panel composed of ACE’s Artistic Director Patrice Sharkey; Daria de Beauvais (Senior Curator at  Palais de Tokyo, Paris); and Micheal Do (Curator, contemporary art at the Sydney Opera House, Australia; curator of Projects at Auckland Art Fair, New Zealand; and Curator of ‘Primavera: Young Australian Artists 2022’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia).  

ACE acknowledges and celebrates the rich history of this award, despite it being a new initiative. The award would not be possible if not for the two art organisations that came before ACE: Australian Experimental Art Foundation (AEAF) and Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (CACSA).

Located in Adelaide’s iconic Lion Arts Centre precinct, Adelaide Contemporary Experimental (ACE) is South Australia’s leading independent contemporary visual arts organisation, proudly supporting artists to develop and present work on Kaurna Yarta (Kaurna Country). Through exhibitions, studios, public programs, professional development opportunities and publications, ACE expands the edges of contemporary visual art practice, embraces diversity and provides a space for artists to take risks. 

Since its inception, ACE’s program has explored many timely issues, driven by the question: what is urgent to discuss today and who should be telling these stories? We recognise that contemporary art takes many forms, and have built a reputation for presenting new and important processes and methodologies for artistic practice. 

Clear constitutional guidelines — determining that 50% of revenue be reinvested and the remainder spent to support artists and art practice — ensure that the fund will benefit South Australian artists for decades to come.

Apply now!

As a recipient of the 2023 Porter Street Commission you will receive:

– $20,000 to develop an ambitious new work for solo exhibition in ACE’s artistic program in 2023.
– $3,000 artist fee (plus Superannuation).
– 8-week solo exhibition as part of ACE’s 2023 exhibition program.
– Support from ACE’s Artistic Director, Exhibitions and Studio Coordinator, Public Programs Coordinator and Marketing Manager to develop and present the Commission.
– Access to ACE equipment and resources.
– Option to deliver relevant public program/s (e.g. artist talk).

Eligibility 

The Porter Street Commission is open to:

– Artists who work across all contemporary art forms.
– Artists at any stage of practice (i.e. from early career to established).
– South Australian residents who have been living in the state for the last 12 months as a minimum.
– People who are 18+.
– Those not currently participating in ACE’s Studio Program.  

ACE strongly encourages artists who are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), living with a disability, or part of the LGBTQI+ community to apply for this opportunity.

How to apply 

Artists who meet the eligibility criteria are invited to submit an application, which includes a one-page proposal outlining a new work project, including the form the work is likely to take, as well as an explanation of the subject, themes and ideas. 

Applications open on Tuesday 18 May 2022, and close at 5pm (ACST) on Tuesday 14 June 2022. The recipient will be announced in late June. 

Click here to access the online application form.

You will need to provide the following information as part of your application form:

– Short bio (300 words)
– Statement on how the Porter Street Commission would impact your career (300 words)
– New work proposal (maximum 1 page)
– Budget (maximum 1 page)
– 10 month new work production timeline (maximum 1 page)
– CV (maximum 1 page)
– Up to 10 examples of your work
– Contact details for 2 referees

To prepare for completing the online application form, we encourage you to read through all of the questions, then draft (and save) your responses before submitting.

The application form provides you with the option to submit your application by answering questions in video or audio format.

Download a budget template here.

About the selection process

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria: 

– The opportunity will provide an ambitious next step for the artist’s career and exhibition trajectory.
– The artist’s capacity to develop and deliver the proposed new work for presentation in the ACE gallery.
– The proposed new work demonstrates a conceptual or material progression in the artist’s work while making sense in terms of the direction of the artist’s practice.
– The proposed new work is relevant to current artistic, cultural and / or political discourse.
– The proposed new work pushes a medium, technique, field of enquiry, or area of practice.
– Support material is conceptually and materially well-developed. 

About the selection panel 

Daria de Beauvais is Senior Curator at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris). She recently completed the research project Reclaim the Earth, including an exhibition, a publication and a public program. In 2021, she organised the first European exhibition of Jonathan Jones, in collaboration with Artspace (Sydney). She was co-curator of the group exhibitions Antibodies (2020), Future, Former, Fugitive (2019) and the 15th Lyon Biennial (2019). She has also curated numerous solo exhibitions, accompanying artists such as Mimosa Echard, Angelica Mesiti, Laure Prouvost, Camille Henrot, Mel O’Callaghan and Mika Rottenberg. She has previously held positions at numerous institutions (Biennale and Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice; Museum of Modern Art and Independent Curators International in New York) and galleries (Zlotowski, Paris; Alessandra Bonomo, Rome; Lili Marleen, New York). She is also a freelance curator, teaches at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, writes for various journals and publications, and regularly participates in committees and juries.

Micheal Do is a curator, programmer and writer working across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He is curator, contemporary art at the Sydney Opera House, Australia, curator of Projects at Auckland Art Fair, New Zealand and Curator of Primavera: Young Australian Artists 2022 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia. His exhibition Soft Core, exploring soft and inflatable sculptures developed for Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney, recently concluded its tour of twelve regional and rural galleries throughout New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland from 2016 – 2019. Micheal  curated Not Niwe, Not Nieuw, Not Neu (2017) and The Invisible Hand (2019) for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; 5X5: The Artist and The Patron (2018), a survey of five artist/collector relationships for Penrith Regional Gallery &The Lewers Bequest; and A Proxy for a Thousand Eyes (2020), Returning (2020 – 2021) and Tutti Presto fff (2022) for Sydney Opera House. He was the 2018 recipient of The Freedman Foundation’s Travelling Scholarship for Curators and the recipient of the Museums and Galleries NSW Artist and Curator Residency Grant in 2016. His writing appears in publications including 4A Papers; Art Collector Australia; Art Monthly, Australasia; Art Review Asia, Artist Profile Magazine, S+S Magazine, VAULT Magazine, and 10 Magazine, along with artists’ catalogues.

Patrice Sharkey is a curator, writer and arts leader who lives on Kaurna land in Adelaide. She was previously the Director of West Space in Melbourne (2015-2018). Patrice’s work experience also spans the university and commercial sectors, including roles as Assistant Curator at Monash University Museum of Art and Gallery Assistant at Sutton Gallery. At West Space Patrice curated the group exhibitions Real Life Fantasies and The Drawing is Just Not There (with Christopher L G Hill), and commissioned solo projects by Fiona Abicare, Gavin Bell, Jarrah de Kuijer & Simon McGlinn, Jason Phu and Lisa Radford. Other curatorial projects include Auto Body Works, Arts Project Australia, Melbourne, 2018. Her writing has been published by the Art Gallery of South Australia, Home of the Arts (Surfers Paradise), Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (New Plymouth), Monash University Museum of Art (Melbourne),and National Gallery of Victoria. Patrice received a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours), majoring in Art History / Cultural Studies, from The University of Melbourne in 2010. She is an alumnus of the Australia Council’s Future Leaders Program and is currently Deputy Chair of the National Association of the Visual Arts (NAVA).

Application support

If you face barriers in completing application forms, we welcome you to reach out to find a suitable way for you to apply. Please be aware that the application form provides you with the option to submit your application by answering questions in video or audio format. You can also view more information about ACE’s accessibility.

Nexus Arts offers application writing support services for artists from culturally diverse and First Nations backgrounds. Follow the link for more information and to book in a time to meet with Nexus staff. Note: Please note that Nexus Arts are unable to meet with new applicants in the week prior to the application closing date

If you have further questions after reading our FAQs, you may wish to get in touch with ACE directly by calling the ACE office 08 8211 7505,  emailing patrice.sharkey@aceopen.art, or booking a 30 minute session with ACE staff to discuss your application. 

Make your booking here (please note there are limited spaces for in person/video consultations): Select a date and time via Calendly

FAQs

What is ACE’s approach to programming?
Since its inception, ACE’s program has explored many timely issues, driven by the question: what is urgent to discuss today and who should be telling these stories? We recognise that contemporary art takes many forms, and have built a reputation for presenting new and important processes and methodologies for artistic practice. 

What is meant by ‘new’ work?
‘New work’ is artwork that hasn’t previously been exhibited that the $20,000 production fee will support to be realised/completed.

How do I know if I am a good fit for ACE’s program?
We look for artists who will benefit from the opportunity at this moment in their career, and artists whose practices align with our vision and mission. To identify how your work might fit into our program, we encourage you to have a look at previous recipients of the Porter Street Commission (Bridget Currie (2021) and Allison Chhorn (2022)) and at ACE’s previous exhibitions

Is this opportunity targeted at artists in a certain age bracket?
ACE identifies that this opportunity is beneficial no matter what your age, or how long you have been a practising artist. However, to be eligible, you must be 18 years old or over.  

I am an emerging artist, is this still a good opportunity for me?
The Porter Street Commission is open to artists at any stage of their career, however those that can demonstrate the ability to self manage the production of new work and collaborate with a small gallery team will make strong candidates. 

I have not completed formal visual arts studies, am I still eligible to apply?
Artists who work across all contemporary art forms are eligible to apply. While you do not need to possess formal qualifications, those that can demonstrate a developed visual arts practice will make strong candidates.  

I am an artist living with a disability. How will I be supported if I am successful?
If you face barriers in completing application forms, we welcome you to reach out to find a suitable way to apply, and to discuss what capacities ACE has to support you should you be selected. Please be aware that the application form provides you with the option to submit your application by answering questions in video or audio format. You can also view more information about ACE’s accessibility.

What if I am based in regional South Australia?
Regional SA artists are encouraged to apply. However any significant freight and travel costs would need to be negotiated with ACE.

What if I’m South Australian born but have been living elsewhere for the past few months? Am I still eligible?
Applications are open to South Australian residents who have been living in the state for the last 12 months. However, this does not preclude artists who live/practice between SA and somewhere else if you can demonstrate an ongoing contribution to the arts in SA.

Can it only be a solo show or can it be collaborative?
We are definitely open to applications from collaborative practices as well as solo practitioners.

Do you have any tips for making a strong application?
Guildhouse and NAVA provide relevant information and tips for preparing and writing proposals that we encourage you to access.

Is there a budget template I can access?
Download a budget template here.

Is there an ACE floor plan I can access?
View our gallery floor plans here.

Why does the application ask for 2 referees?
We ask you to provide 2 professional referees who you have previously worked with on an exhibition or a new commission. A referee’s role is to provide insight into your experience developing new work, presenting work in a gallery and working with a gallery team. We encourage you to ask your referees if they are comfortable with being listed in your application. Try to remember to ask them well ahead of submitting your application – so they have enough notice!

Can I submit more than 1 proposal?
Only 1 submission per individual artist will be accepted. An artist can however submit an additional application as part of an artist collective.

What does the $20,000 cover, and what in-kind support is provided by ACE?
The $20,000 is to be used by the recipient to realise the new work for the exhibition. In-kind costs covered by ACE include curatorial support, installation/de-installation, marketing and exhibition documentation (photography).

Could the exhibition travel after it shows at ACE?
The new work / exhibition can definitely be re-presented or tour after premiering at ACE in 2023. We encourage it!

Will there be any curatorial support through the creation of the work?
The selected artist will work closely with the ACE team in both producing the new work proposal and realising it as an exhibition.

What will the selection panel be looking for in the applications?
The selection panel will be looking for a new work proposal to get excited about that addresses the selection criteria. 

Is there any opportunity for public programming and/or performance through the exhibit?
Absolutely – ACE delivers public programs for each exhibition and works with exhibiting artists to develop these. If your proposed new work is performative in nature, we can work with you on how to stage this or as part of the exhibition slot.

What if I have other questions I want to ask before I submit my application?
Feel free to get in touch by calling the ACE office 08 8211 7505, emailing patrice.sharkey@aceopen.art, or booking a 30 minute session with ACE staff to discuss your application. 

Make your booking here (please note there are limited spaces for in person /video consultations.): Select a date and time via Calendly