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 will be 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 will be 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.

The application will require you to provide:

  • A short bio
  • an artist statement about your practice
  • a brief summary of the impact you expect the opportunity to have on your career.
  • a one page supporting document outlining the new work project, the form it is likely to take, as well as an explanation of the subject , themes and ideas,
  • a one page proposed budget
  • Your CV
  • 10 examples of your work
  • Contact details for two professional referees

Applications will be welcomed between Thursday 24 June and Friday 30 July 2021.

If you have any questions, contact

Dr Léuli Eshrāghi (Sāmoan, Persian, Cantonese), visual artist, writer, curator and researcher, works between Australia and Canada. Ia intervenes in display territories to centre Indigenous kin constellations, sensual and spoken languages, and ceremonial-political practices. Through performance, moving image, writing and installation, ia engages with Indigenous futurities as haunted by ongoing militourist and missionary violences that once erased faʻafafine-faʻatane people from kinship and knowledge structures.

Ia has curated projects including Sāmoan Hxstories, Screens and Intimacies at A Space Gallery, Toronto, and imagineNATIVE, Écrans autochtones: temporalité et mouvement with Mylène Guay also within imagineNATIVE, ʻO le ūa na fua mai Manuʻa at UNSW Galleries, Sydney, Ua numi le fau at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, and in a trilogy co-curated with Tarah Hogue, Lana Lopesi, Sarah Biscarra Dilley and Freja Carmichael, Transits and Returns at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Layover at Artspace Aotearoa, Auckland, and The Commute at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Eshrāghi has made new commissions for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, Sharjah Biennial 14, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center among other group and solo presentations in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and United States. Eshrāghi has lectured at gatherings Creative Time, Hawaiʻi Contemporary Art Summit, Experimenter Curators’ Hub, March Meeting, Dhaka Art Summit, Pacific Arts Association, and Asia Pacific Triennial, as well as at universities in Antwerp, San Juan, London, Melbourne, Yogyakarta, Montreal, Honolulu, Auckland and Victoria. Ia contributes to growing international critical practice across the Great Ocean and North America through residencies, exhibitions, publications, teaching and rights advocacy.

Louise O’Kelly is an independent curator based in London. In 2015 she founded Block Universe, London’s leading international performance art festival and commissioning body, with the mission to create a platform and support structure for a new generation of interdisciplinary artists working with performance. Block Universe commissions and produces works by UK-based and international artists which are presented at major institutions and off-site locations across London annually, expanding in 2019 to present work internationally. In 2020, she inaugurated the Performance Research Network with founding members Liverpool Biennial and Glasgow International, supported by Art Fund.

O’Kelly regularly speaks in relation to performance, and has delivered lectures, talks, and contributed to panel discussions at the invitation of institutions and universities. She currently sits on the commit-tee for a UK-wide Live Art Sector Review in partnership with LADA and Arts Council England, and is a short course tutor at the Guildhall School in partnership with Barbican.



When do applications close?
Friday 30th July at 11:59pm (Adelaide time)

When will the successful applicant be notified?
The successful applicant will be notified in August 2021. 

Who is on the selection panel?
This year the Porter Street Commission will be judged by ACE Open Artistic Director, Patrice Sharkey; Block Universe Founding Director and Curator, Louise O’Kelly; and artist and curator, Léuli Eshrāghi. 

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

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

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.

What if I’m SA 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 another state if you can demonstrate an ongoing contribution to the arts in SA.

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 Open.

Could the exhibition travel after it shows at ACE Open?
The new work / exhibition can definitely be re-presented or tour  after premiering at ACE Open in 2022. We encourage it!

Why is the proposal so simple?
The application is intended to be easy to complete: we want artists to think big picture and focus on proposing their dream projects.

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

What will the judges be looking for in the applicants?
The judges will be looking for a new work proposal to get excited about  this may be in response to the level of innovation, rigour of ideas and / or timeliness / relevance of the new work. A proposal should also demonstrate how it is an ambitious next step in the artist’s career and exhibiting trajectory.

Is there any opportunity for public programming/performance through the exhibit?
Absolutely – ACE Open 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.

Can I see a floorpan of the gallery to help plan the exhibition?
Yes. A floorpan of the gallery is available on request. Email

What if I have further questions I want to ask before I submit an application?
Feel free to get in touch by emailing or calling the ACE Open office 08 8211 7505.


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.