Announcing 'Making Art Work' News

Announcing 'Making Art Work'

A new commissioning initiative

13 May 2020

Today the IMA is excited to launch Making Art Work. This new commissioning initiative proposes an experimental role for the institution as administrators of economic stimulus for artists. Drawing on the historical model of the Roosevelt administration’s New Deal Federal Art Projects of the Great Depression, this expansive project reimagines the idea of ‘relief measures’ for artists working in the 21st century.

Taking place across 2020—during and post COVID-19 lockdowns—the project will see over 40 artists create new works that reinforce the importance of creative labour in a time when the cultural and economic value of art has been diminished.

Released in four rounds of presentations, commissions will span new artworks, texts, workshops, ephemeral projects, and more. The outcomes will be presented via, a forthcoming publication, and at the Judith Wright Arts Centre gallery space.

Artists, writers, and facilitators engaged in the first round are: Tony Albert, Kieron Anderson, Mariam Arcilla, Richard Bell, Julian Day, ∑gg√e|n, Hannah Gartside, Mindy Gill, Kinly Grey, Susan Hawkins, Sally Olds, Amy Sargeant, and Des Skordilis.

As a whole, this initiative not only responds to the current global emergency, but more importantly reinforces the value of artists during a time of increased precarity and apathy towards the arts. A call to action, Making Art Work demonstrates the public ‘use’ of art and the art institution in contemporary life.

We look forward to sharing these commissions with you over the coming months. Read more at

Download the media release here.

Making Art Work is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

The Institute of Modern Art acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which the IMA now stands, the Jagera, Yuggera, Yugarapul, and Turrbal people. We offer our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first artists of this country. In the spirit of allyship, the IMA will continue to work with First Nations people to celebrate, support, and present their immense past, present, and future contribution to artistic practice and cultural expression.