Applications are now closed for ACE Open’s 2022 Porter Street Commission.

The Porter Street Commission is ACE Open’s annual art award supporting new artwork commissions by South Australian artists at any stage of their career.
Each year, $20,000 is awarded to a selected artist for the purpose of producing an ambitious new work, and will be presented as part of ACE Open’s exhibition program the following year.

The 2022 selection panel was comprised of ACE Open’s Artistic Director Patrice SharkeyDr Léuli Eshrāghi (Curator, TarraWarra Biennial 2023, Australia); and  Louise O’Kelly (Founding Director & Curator, Block Universe, London).

Selection Criteria:

  • South Australian residents who have been living in the state for the last 12 months as a minimum.
  • Artists who work across all contemporary art forms.
  • Artists at any stage of practice (i.e. from early career to established).
  • The proposed new work must be an ambitious next step in the artist’s career and exhibiting trajectory.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people living with a disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for this opportunity.

Artists who meet the selection criteria are invited to submit an application.

How did the Porter Street Commission come to be?

The Porter Street Commission exists thanks to the Porter Street Fund and launches off the back of ACE Open’s winding history. In understanding why and how the Porter Street Commission exists, one must first understand why and how ACE Open exists too.

Established in 2017, ACE Open was founded on the legacy of its predecessors, Australian Experimental Art Foundation (AEAF) and Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (CACSA), to serve and lead the South Australian contemporary visual arts sector into the next era. As the flagship contemporary visual arts organisation in South Australia, ACE Open honours the ambitions and intent of these two pioneering organisations through a commitment to experimental practice and support of contemporary artists.

Let’s jump even further back in time, shall we? From 1964 until 2016, CACSA was the longest running contemporary art space in Australia. It was created by the young artists of the Contemporary Art Society (CAS) — itself dating back to 1942. These artists recognised the need for a space of their own to freely experiment and present work to the public. So, in 1964, they purchased a four-bedroom villa at 14 Porter Street, Parkside to convert into an art gallery, and there it operated until the property was sold in 2018. The proceeds were invested to establish the Porter Street Fund, which honours the vision of the CAS artists and the legacy of CACSA, and serves to directly benefit the community for whom ACE Open exists.

Clear constitutional guidelines — determining that 50% of revenue be reinvested and the remainder spent to support artists and art practice — ensure that the fund serves the community for whom ACE Open exists, and that it will benefit South Australian artists for decades to come.