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Arts Project Australia

Our Story

Daniel Pace in Arts Project Australia Northcote Studio
Artist Daniel Pace Northcote Studio


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Established in 1974, Arts Project Australia is the first full-time art studio in Australia for artists with an intellectual disability.

We have developed a world-class creative program for Australian artists, enabling professional and lasting careers in the arts. We are renowned for our values, philosophy and practice of supporting highly talented, skilled and passionate artists.

The Arts Project Australia studio on High Street Northcote is home to our studio programs and administrative staff. The studio is attended weekly by more than 150 artists.

Arts Project Australia’s gallery has been located at Collingwood Yards since March 2021. Our annual exhibition program feature our artists’ work alongside that of the broader contemporary art community in our gallery, and in national and international galleries.

Our values inform how we deliver the services for which we are funded – with the artist at the centre of everything we do. These values define our interactions with our artists, their loved ones and their advocates.


Artist Cathy Staughton painting in Arts Project Australia Northcote studio

Image: Artist Cathy Staughton painting in Arts Project Australia’s Northcote studio.


We believe in making a mark that matters.

We believe in art as it should be.

Original. Unapologetic. True.

And joyful in the making.

Fuelled by an unwavering belief in our artists, we are heartened by the creativity and authenticity in our space and by those who delight in sharing it. We believe that art is serious, but making it can be fun.

Individual creativity triumphs over conformity and divergent voices make life much more interesting.

Our experience will always be shared, our knowledge passed on and our studio bound by creativity, integrity and generosity in equal measure.


Since our inception in 1974, we have strived to enable artists to develop an original and authentic “voice” supported by professional staff artists who provide feedback and critical advice. Here, art is not taught, but rather the innate creative direction of each artist is nurtured to elicit works of personal meaning and style.


We are a centre of excellence.

We promote new and exciting work.

We never assume anything about what our artists want or are trying to do. The artists themselves are the only accurate source of knowledge about their aspirations and intentions. Their art speaks for itself and stands on its own terms. Proud. Strong. Unapologetic.


The art that is made by our artists can be confronting, vibrant, beautiful, menacing, honest, haunting and joyful. The art is a result of the freedom our artists have to make their own creative choices.

The agreements that we have with our artists regarding commissions and ownership of work reflect those of other well-run commercial galleries. The work is owned by our artists and they are paid when the work is sold. We aim to guide our artists’ careers and ensure the integrity of their work through good practice.


Our studio is a boisterous hive of creativity, where ideas and imaginings are transformed into visual art. It is an organic, messy, productive place.

Plant Life exhibition at Arts Project Australia Collingwood Yards gallery 2022
Plant Life 2022

For over forty-four years Arts Project Australia has supported the artistic aspirations of artists with an intellectual disability.