VIC: Applications Open for Women’s Public Art Program

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To ensure that the achievements of inspiring women are better represented and recognised, Andrews’ Labor Government is introducing a new scheme to fund and distribute more public art that represents and is made by women.

Applications are now open for the new $1 million Victorian Women’s Public Art Program – recognizing women leaders and providing greater opportunities for female artists who are also significantly underrepresented when it comes to large public orders.

Women’s Minister Gabrielle Williams said Victorian women had achieved incredible things in politics, activism, literature, civic life, science, medicine and sport; she expressed that these achievements should be celebrated just as much as those of men.

“While Victoria’s public statues may be silent, the unequal number of women speaks volumes – symbolizing the structural inequality experienced by women in almost every setting,” she said.

“The program will go a long way to ensuring that female artists are prioritized – recognizing that female artists have low representation in art media, commercial galleries and state museums compared to men,” said- she added.

Australian artist Kristen Visbal’s ‘Fearless Girl’ statue was unveiled in Melbourne in 2019. Source: Twitter

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Grants ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 are available for organizations in Victoria, with applicants strongly encouraged to work in partnership with community or interest groups such as local sport and advocacy groups or arts collectives.

Currently, of Melbourne’s 580 statues, only nine depict women – the program will tackle this significant inequality by supporting projects that recognize women and their achievements through mediums such as statues, sculptures and more sustainable public works of art.

Women artists will be prioritized, recognizing that women are poorly represented in art media, commercial galleries and state museums compared to men.

The scheme builds on the Labor Government’s $300,000 investment in the 2021/22 Victorian Budget to design and erect a statue of an iconic netball player at the John Cain Arena.

Netball Victoria found that in Victoria there are currently only three sports statues compared to 29 sports statues.

The program complements the Victorian Women’s Honor Roll, which celebrates women’s outstanding leadership and contribution to life in Victoria.

Applications close January 10, 2022. For more information on the grant program, visit rav.net.au/fundingopportunities/victorian-womens-public-art-program/.

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Kayleen C. Rice