Pathways to practice is a mentorship program for artists who identify with disability.
Through a series of workshops and several days of immersion in the Gallery, each year Pathways to Practice provides artists who identify with disability, mental health or access requirements with opportunities for further professional development in the arts.
History and development
In 2016, the Gallery partnered with Front Up, a Western Sydney–based arts and culture hub founded by Ability Options.
The partnership was developed to deliver the pilot Emerge engagement project, connecting emerging artists with disability with professional artists and arts professionals at the Gallery to enhance skills and build networks.
Since the Gallery and Front Up first collaborated in 2016, over 35 artists with disability, mental illness or access needs have been engaged through this partnership. Gallery artist educators and staff have provided mentorship through workshops and group discussion.
The partnership has allowed artists to build networks with key organisations in the arts sector such as Artspace.
In 2019, the Gallery partnered with Kaldor Public Art Projects to collaborate with Little Orange Studio, Campbelltown Arts Centre, on a Pathway to Practice program, to deliver a program for ten Little Orange artists, in association with the major exhibition Making Art Public: 50 Years of Kaldor Public Art Projects at the Gallery.
Little Orange Studio is a Campbelltown Arts Centre working studio for contemporary Western Sydney artists who identify with disability. The studio has been running since 2014 and fosters high quality artistic practice through the provision of materials, mentorships, business training and access to industry professionals.
The Pathways to Practice program aims to remove barriers to access, participation and representation for the artists, with the aim of building skills and capacity to find further education and employment opportunities in the arts.
The professional development program has received an overwhelmingly positive response, delivered significant benefits for the participating artists, and has set the solid foundation for ongoing connection with the Gallery and a network of artists.
Among the impacts and connections forged with the Gallery, the collection and exhibitions, there are a range of positive outcomes. These include:
new networks with Gallery staff, artists and arts organisations
skills developed for delivering talks and workshops
enhanced professional skills, confidence and self esteem
opportunities to present their practice in the Gallery through public programs
developing an understanding of how to navigate the Australian art world
The Gallery has partnered with organisations including Front Up supported by Ability Options, Information Cultural Exchange Parramatta, Little Orange Studio Campbelltown Arts Centre, and Sunnyfield Disability services.