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Arts Project Australia

2020 Annual Gala

2020 Virtual Gala

Until 2020, you’d encounter forty artists a day working away in the sun-filled Arts Project Australia studio. The gallery would present 14 solo and group exhibitions, feature 800+ artworks by 190+ studio and invited artists, and welcome 3,000+ artists, families, students, collectors, curators, volunteers and board members to celebrate at our openings.


In 2020, we presented two exhibitions in the gallery—Will Murray Solo and Pleased to Meet You—then, on the 16th of March, we all went home. But, as we approach the end of the year, Arts Project Australia artists, staff and board have not rolled over, stopped working, making or given up in the face of tough times. Arts Project Australia artists, staff and board have risen to the challenge.

The Arts Project Australia Virtual Gala is a celebration of the artists and their incredible work in 2020, as a continuation of the work they do every year, come hail or shine. It is also a celebration, albeit a virtual one, of our vibrant and creative community—our family—of artists, supporters and friends. Enjoy the 201 artworks and the experience of our Virtual Gala and, remember, 100% of every winning bid goes directly into the hands of Melbourne-based artists.

The Virtual Gala will feature special moments with APA artists, words from Arts Project director Sue Roff and entertainment from an exclusive line-up including Paul Kelly.

Want to party with food? The Recreation is providing a picnic hamper with a selection of cheeses, cold baked goods and wine to enjoy from home (pick up and delivery options available).

Alongside the live stream, 150 artists are presenting 200 artworks at a virtual exhibition and for sale at a silent auction hosted by Leonard Joel.

This year, 100% of sales will be paid to artists.

Both Virtual Gala auction and exhibition will launch from Friday 20 November and close Tuesday 1 December, giving plenty of time to browse and buy Arts Project Australia artworks before and after the Saturday 28 November live stream.

Register to receive the free live stream link, order your picnic hamper and receive updates on the Gala auction and exhibition.

Missed the Virtual Gala? You can still watch recorded livestream below!

Arts Project Australia extends thanks to supporters of the 2020 Virtual Gala.

The Virtual Gala launched on Friday 20 November with over 1000 visits to the virtual exhibition hosted on Arts Project’s website and many also crossing over to long-time supporter Leonard Joel for the silent auction.

On Saturday November 28, after a week of browsing and early bidding on the 201 artworks, over 600 supporters Arts Project Australia tuned in across YouTube, Facebook and Instagram for the Virtual Gala live stream.

From home, audiences enjoyed a delectable picnic hamper from the Recreation and watched the event to ponder, celebrate and laugh about the year of 2020 with entertainment from an enviable line-up of Melbourne-based performers including Paul Kelly, Claire Hooper and Moira Finnucine.

It wasn’t over yet – the enthusiasm continued online at the silent auction, which closed several days later on Tuesday 2 December with 86 lots sold (not including post-auction sales) and 100% of the $20,000 made in sales paid directly to successful artists.

The Virtual Gala was a heartfelt celebration of the artists and their incredible work over 2020. The success of the first iteration of the Gala- a long-lasting cornerstone of the Arts Project Australia program – in virtual format shows testament to the committed support and love for Arts Project artists and their work from a community of creative supporters far and wide.

With special thanks to Arts Project Australia artists, as well as their families, carers and support people; entertainers Paul Kelly, Claire Hooper, Moira Finnucine, Trent Walter, Mama Alto, Maude Davey, Paul Cordeiro, Piera Dennerstein, Jazida and Rachel Lewindon; producer Sian Darling and designer Liz Cox; John Albrecht and Leonard Joel team; Arts Project Australia executive director Sue Roff and staff Sim Luttin, Jo Salt, Sarah Wood, Danielle Hakim, Tahney Fosdike, Margaret McIntosh, Sandy Fernee, as well as studio, admin staff and volunteers; as well as the board and Exhibition Committee, with special note to Virginia Lovett, Mandy Hall, Denise Damianos, Damien Hodgkinson, Marie McCarthy and Melinda Martin.