Art centres are little jewels scattered around remote Australia. Each one is uniquely different. Owned and governed by Indigenous Australians they are hives of creativity, social hubs, art schools, livelihood generators and dynamic social enterprises all in one.
Remote community art centres
Indigenous community art centres are locally owned artists’ cooperatives dotted around the continent, often in the remotest places. There are more than 90 throughout Australia. Their legal structure is as membership based non-profit Associations or Corporations. Some have 10 members and others have 300+ members.
Art centres are producing some of the most dynamic and interesting contemporary arts and crafts in the world. Some art centres focus on a specific art form whereas others create products in a wide range of media – the diversity of creative output is extraordinary. A number of art centres create paintings on canvas, bark, paper and fabrics and there are also carvings, sculptures, limited edition prints, natural fibre weavings, textiles and hand-printed fabrics. There are art centres creating multimedia too. All are owned and valued by their members and are the vibrant hearts of their communities.
In our interpretive signage at Provenance Arts we have included information about each of the art centres we represent, including a small map. You can see that some are found deep in the desert, others are in the tropics or by the coast, from one side of the country to the other.
Art centres are dynamic social enterprises that generate income and livelihoods for their members which is especially important where economic opportunities are very limited. Art centres also support the social and cultural aspirations and needs of members, giving assistance with transport, visits to country, ceremonies and funerals. As non-profits the proceeds from sales are returned to the entity to make it sustainable.
It is possible to visit art centres – you will find more information on our website here. Also staff at the onsite Provenance Arts tourist information desk can give you assistance.
Art Centre Peak Bodies
In each region of Australia remote community art centres are members of peak bodies. These organisations provide advocacy, resourcing, referral and support services to their members. Each of these organisations has comprehensive information about member organisations and website links.
Top End: ANKA – Working together to keep art, country and culture strong since 1987
Central Australia: Desart – Supporting Aboriginal Art Centres of Central Australia
South Australia: Ananguku Arts – Strong Arts, Strong Culture, Strong Communities.
Far North Queensland: Indigenous Art Centre Alliance – Our Vision: We support culturally strong best practice Indigenous Arts enterprises