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ARTIST SPEAKEASY: Do Artists Need Gallery Representation?

The roles and responsibilities of art galleries today are increasingly varied and flexible. Galleries can provide stability, advocacy and support for artists, but there are also many opportunities that do not rely on gallery representation.

Join David Hagger (Co-Director, Blackartprojects), Andy Dinan (Director, MARS) and artist Kylie Stillman (represented by Utopia Art Sydney) for a panel discussion considering if gallery representation is necessary for a successful career as an artist.

The panel will consider the changing models of representation, promotion, commercial enterprise and collective practices that have directly impacted the viability of sustaining an independent artistic practice.


David Hagger is a Melbourne based curator, writer and co-director of Blackartprojects, an itinerant platform for the promotion and exhibition of the visual arts that seeks to provide contemporary artists with absolute control of the conditions for presenting their work by facilitating projects independently from a standardised exhibition program. Over the past decade he has worked with Australian and international artists to realise projects in private and public galleries, institutions, art fairs, festival and site-specific settings.

Andy Dinan founded and established Melbourne Art Rooms, known as MARS Gallery, in 2004 with a steadfast resolve for promoting Australian artists. Since its inception, MARS has staged in excess of 220 exhibitions featuring over 330 artists. Andy specialises in exhibiting, promoting and building careers of emerging and mid-career contemporary Australian and International Artists. Under Andy’s watch, MARS enjoys a unique position in staging regular exhibitions, attending international art fairs, curating special events and consulting on major public art commissions.

Kylie Stillman is a Sydney based artist and represented by Utopia Art Sydney. Best known for her book sculptures and woodcarvings, Stillman uses scalpel blades, jigsaws, sewing materials and drills to alter objects and create negative spaces that depict ‘signs of life’. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with honours at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in 1999. She has since exhibited in several solo and group shows both nationally and internationally. Stillman has been awarded Australia Council for the Arts studio residencies in New York (2009) and Milan (2006) and she has been commissioned to create large-scale artworks for Hermes Australia (2011) and Westpac Banking Group (2010).

Image credit: Guests at the opening of Kylie Stillman’s ‘The Opposite of Wild’ and Sam Leach’s ‘Avian Interplanetary’ at Linden New Art, Friday 26 May 2017. Photograph: Theresa Harrison Photography.

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Class Schedule

This event is a panel discussion Saturday 23rd, September 2:30PM to 3:30PM

What you will learn
  • Learn about gallery representation in forging a successful career as an artist
  • Consider the changing models of representation, promotion, commercial enterprise and collective practices
  • Hear discussion about opportunities that do not rely on gallery representation

What to wear


Appropriate for

Artists, art enthusiasts and industry professionals

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29 September 2017 • Artist Speakeasy

Very interesting discussion, thank you.