In collaboration with MARS Gallery, Melbourne property developers Banco Group’s new initiative Art at Union Bank invites artists to exhibit their works for free at the historic site of the Union Bank in Chapel St Prahran.
With a substantial floor space and lofty ceilings, the venue is a blank canvas that lends itself to creative and unique projects, and exhibition themes are entirely up to the artist.
Banco Group is looking to support individual artists and curators, from diverse cultural backgrounds across all mediums of art. Located on the corner of Chapel and Cecil streets in Prahran, residencies are available from April 1 to December 30 with monthly exhibitions, pop-ups and other events and happenings set to take over the precinct.
The project comes after the National Association for Visual Arts (NAVA) published research highlighting the issues of underpayment, and employment for artists. 81% of artists earnt less than $25,000 in 2020-21, and 50% had their income erased after the pandemic.
The developments public art consultant and Director of ADA consulting Andy Dinan said “If every developer gave their empty buildings to be used by local artists as studios or galleries, we would not have the issues with the lack of recognition and pay for artists and culture in this country. Instead of walking down shopping strips with every second shop empty, we could be learning about so much through our artists.”
A One Dollar licence fee is the only expense to secure the space. Requirements to exhibit at the Union Bank are that the internal walls and floors are kept in their current state. Staffing, public liability and contents insurance is the responsibility of the artist.
Banco will provide a social media manager to help promote the artist’s activity in addition to an affixed outdoor lockable poster unit located at the entrance of the building.
Director of Banco Group Mario LoGiudice says “The residencies are an example of our commitment to activating spaces, fostering creativity and building community through art.
In the past few years at East Brunswick Village (EBV), we have cultivated artists in residence, a ceramics studio, maker’s markets, and numerous cultural events, and been rewarded with a dynamic, creative sense of place by and for EBV’s residents and the surrounding neighbourhood.
We look forward to enabling art making and appreciation – at the Union Bank, and to breathing new life and relevance into this beautiful old building.”
To apply email an application with a brief outline of the proposed project and accompanying images to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 21.
Art at the Union Bank 236 Chapel Street, on the corner of Cecil Street Prahran https://bancogroup.com.au/