Access = Value

Kate Daw and David Sequeira (University of Melbourne)
2017 Conference

This paper examines value in the context of a contemporary art school, and presents an innovative model, VCA Access, that Dr Sequeira & Dr Daw have implemented over the past ten months at the School of Art, VCA/MCM, University of Melbourne. VCA Access engages students, staff (artists/academics), commercial galleries and philanthropists in a multi-layered, highly active and participatory way that has allowed for powerful and productive relationships to emerge and flourish, both inside and outside the institution. The concept of value is key to this model, as at its developmental heart is the question: how can we, as an art school/university community, make a meaningful and valuable contribution to the national art ecology?

the role, the voice and the responsibility of the artist are more crucial than ever before within the framework of contemporary debates. It is in and through these individual initiatives that the world of tomorrow takes shape, which though surely uncertain, is often best intuited by artists than others”

Christine Macel, Chief Curator, 2017 Venice Biennale

This understanding of the value of the voice of the artist underpins our research in developing VCA Access. We are committed to the cultivation, mentorship and promotion of the artist’s voice, and the literal speaking and making public of their thoughts and actions into a broader cultural fabric as well as within our own art school/university environment.

This presentation explores and analyses this innovative model, presenting it to an audience that shares our challenges and expectations.

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About the author

Dr Kate Daw, Acting Head of School (Art), Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne, Southbank.

Dr David Sequeira, Director – Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne, Southbank.