Studio Program

Artists at Arts Project are encouraged to develop a visual art practice reflective of their interests and passions

There’s a lot of love and laughter in the studio. It’s very personal, you get to know the artists very well. It’s very intimate. There’s not a lot of turnover of artists, so the relationships are long term.
– Sue Roff, Executive Director

Mark Smith in the Arts Project Australia studio with Jessie Brooks-Dowsett

Mark Smith in the Arts Project Australia studio with Jessie Brooks-Dowsett


Since 1984, Arts Project Australia has operated a unique studio program. Working with high-quality art materials and equipment, our dedicated team of staff artists is on hand to provide individually tailored, non-directive support to each studio artist. Artists are continuously encouraged to explore their own personal style and develop their own artistic skills using a range of techniques and materials.


Sessions operate six days per week and are open to any interested person with an intellectual disability. Artists are encouraged to find their own creative voice and to pursue themes of personal interest and meaning.


Satellite Arts is a remote program giving artists the opportunity to engage with the APA studio from any location in Australia. From 2021, sessions run each Tuesday and Thursday on Zoom supported by professional staff artists. Mirroring the program offered at the Northcote studio, artists can expect to develop and critically reflect on their artistic practice and engage with contemporary art communities via online exhibitions, studio and gallery visits, artist talks and curator presentations. The program is tailored to individual artist’s working preferences and facilitated in both group and individual video conferencing sessions.


Painting and drawing are the foundations of the studio program. Artists are encouraged to explore their own personal approach and to develop their artistic skills using a range of drawing and painting materials. Other programs include:

  • printmaking
  • ceramics
  • digital photography
  • digital imaging
  • animation
  • 3D sculpture
  • professional practice


George Aristovoulou, pencil on paper


The studio program also offers a range of professional development opportunities including field trips, skills workshops, portrait sittings and collaborative projects with other contemporary artists. The studio also offers a recreational program on Saturday for those just wanting to try art without all of the gallery services. The recreation program gives you the opportunity to draw and paint while you consider your long-term aspirations.

I’m proud to be associated with such a worthwhile organisation that treats people with such dignity and is genuine in its efforts to recognise individual talent.
– Board Member


Artist Brendan Slee and guests at our Annual Gala in December 2017


Arts Project artists own the work they create.  The gallery professionally stores your artwork so that it can be entered into exhibitions, art prizes, and awards. All artists are exhibited in the Collingwood gallery space at least once a year, and the gallery team shows our artists’ work to clients and visitors to generate artwork sales and income for the artists. When an artist leaves Arts Project, they can take their work with them. Occasionally, artists will be invited to donate a small number of artworks to Arts Project to be included in our Permanent Collection.

Arts Project is the best place an inspiring artist can go to develop their art.  As far as I know, no mainstream gallery can offer the same services that they provide… The studio offers everything that is needed to develop the craft and manage all that is needed to be a professional artist. I can’t speak highly enough of what Arts Project has brought to our lives.   I think my daughter probably put it best when she said “Arts Project is like a second home where I get to do what I love all the time – not many people get to do that” and “I get to work with other artists and do collaborations” and “I have friends here”.   In our opinion, it doesn’t get much better than that!
– Kim Menta, Artist Parent

Chris O'Brien, No.8 Urquart St Northcote (Edmund House), 2016, glazed earthenware

Chris O’Brien, No.8 Urquart St Northcote (Edmund House), 2016, glazed earthenware

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