About

Melbourne Art Fair is a seminal fixture on the Australasian cultural calendar, stimulating critical and commercial attention for galleries and their artists for over 30 years. The biennial fair supports and promotes Australasian living artists through the staging of a world-class platform for contemporary art, showcasing iconic and new works by artists from the region’s most respected galleries.

With this global creative city as a backdrop, the fair returns in 2020 to take up residence at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, continuing its lead role in the region for fostering the development of new audiences for contemporary art.

Melbourne Art Fair is supported by government partners The Australia Council for the Art and Creative Victoria.

18 – 21 June 2020, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

The Foundation

Established in 2003, Melbourne Art Foundation is a not for profit organisation established to promote and support contemporary art and living Australian artists.  Committed to servicing the needs of artists, galleries, collectors and visitors, the Foundation leads the way in building national and international audiences and markets for the work of Australia’s living contemporary artists, bringing together the commercial, social, cultural and environmental threads that underpin and sustain the vibrant Australian visual arts ecology.

Melbourne Art Foundation produces the biennial Melbourne Art Week and flagship event Melbourne Art Fair. 

The Foundation sponsors a range of programs during Melbourne Art Week for the benefit of living artists, to facilitate public discussion and develop new audiences for contemporary art. These programs include major commissions, project rooms featuring emerging and independent artists, and art spaces, public talks, collector programs, guided tours and the celebrated Art Fair opening night; Vernissage. 

The Board

Charles Justin, Chairman

Charles Justin was a Founding Director of architecture and design practice, SJB, and a founder of Plus Architecture. Charles was the RAIA (now AIA) Victorian Chapter President and was awarded a Life Fellowship of the Australian Institute of Architects. Following his retirement from architectural practice, Charles and his wife Leah established the Justin Art House Museum- JAHM, a privately funded, not for profit house museum which opened to the public in April 2016. It presents curated exhibitions both from their contemporary art collection and externally sourced, with a supporting public program. Charles has also served on the board of the Jewish Museum of Australia, for five years as President, and was recently made a Life Member.

Stuart Hamilton AO

Stuart Hamilton advises on public policy and management.  From 2003 to 2012 he was CEO of Open Universities Australia. Stuart is a member of the Council of Deakin University, and Chair of the advisory board to DeakinCo, which provides learning solutions for business. He also chairs the National Youth Choir of Australia Board, is Vice-President of the Australian Chamber Choir, and is on the board of several other not-for-profits. Stuart was Secretary of the Victorian Department of Education & Training, Executive Director of Universities Australia, and before that Secretary to the federal departments of Health and Environment and Deputy Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Department.

Justin Homer

Justin Homer is a partner at PwC Australia, with 18 years experience specialising in collaborative design, facilitation, strategy and transformation consulting. Justin is an expert in the development of co-design capabilities having successfully developed in-house solutions for world leading organisations across the USA, UK and Australia.

Sophie Gannon

Sophie Gannon is Director of Sophie Gannon Gallery, a commercial gallery specialising in contemporary art. Prior to establishing her gallery in Melbourne in 2006, Sophie worked at Philip Bacon Galleries in Brisbane and at Sotheby’s in Melbourne. She is a member of AGAA, and serves on the board of the Robin Boyd Foundation and the Heide Foundation. Sophie represents 28 leading contemporary artists from Australia and New Zealand.

Jan Murphy

Jan Murphy is graduate of the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Arts – Art History, and commenced her career working at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Victoria. On returning to Brisbane, she established the Jan Murphy Gallery in 1995. As Gallery Director, Jan represents a stylistically varied selection of contemporary art by established and emerging artists.  She participates regularly in local and international contemporary art fairs and is an active member of the Art Galleries Association of Australia (AGAA).

Amanda Rowell

Amanda Rowell is Owner/Director of The Commercial Gallery, Sydney. She opened The Commercial in 2012 after working in commercial galleries since 1997 including ten years as manager of Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery. Over fifteen years she has exhibited widely at leading art fairs internationally. Parallel to her experience in galleries, Rowell has been active as an independent art writer and curator.

Anna Waldmann

Anna Waldmann has a background in art history, theory and policy research. Anna was formerly Director of Visual Arts at the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body. Prior to joining the Australia Council, Anna worked as a curator at the Art Gallery of NSW and as Program Manager (Visual Arts and Crafts and Museums and Galleries) at the NSW Ministry for the Arts. Anna was an art advisor on the Editorial Advisory Board of Art & Australia; Visiting Fellow at the College of Fine Arts University of NSW; Chair of Visual Arts at GASP Hobart; and the National and International Art Adviser for the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation. She is currently a Councillor on the University of Sydney Power Institute for Art & Visual Culture Foundation.

Theodore Wohng

Theodore Wohng is a collector of international modern and contemporary art and an enthusiastic supporter of Australian art. His collection reflects his diverse interests in art history and culture, ranging from works related to literature, philosophy, language and symbolism, as well as contemporary fashion, music and architecture.

Anna Schwartz

Anna Schwartz has owned and directed a private gallery for over 35 years working closely with leading Australian and international artists and has been committed to the development and promotion of contemporary art and audiences. Schwartz has brought renowned artists to Australian audiences, as well as supporting Australian artists in their overseas endeavours. She has initiated and supported the acquisition of important works by Australian and international artists by Australia’s serious collections, both public and private.  Schwartz has represented many artists at the Venice Biennale and other significant events on the world art stage. Anna Schwartz Gallery has participated in art fairs in the US, Europe and Asia, presenting either solo exhibitions or curated group shows.

Peter Jopling AM, QC

Peter Jopling is a Melbourne based Queen’s Counsel.

Peter is the Chairman of the Ian Potter Museum of Art and Chair of the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Foundation Ltd. Peter has been Deputy Chair of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, a
Director of the McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery and Director of the National Gallery of Australia Foundation. Peter is a Patron of the Australian World Orchestra.

Peter is a member of the Victorian College of the Arts Foundation and the Melbourne University Humanities Foundation. Peter has also held board directorships of science and business school boards as well as various legal governing boards.

In 2014 Peter was made a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia for significant service to the law in Victoria and to the community. 

Vivien Anderson

Vivien Anderson has over 30 years’ experience in Australian Indigenous art. After returning from a career in London in documentary film, she became Manager of the Aboriginal Artists Gallery in Melbourne and later managed and directed several acclaimed contemporary galleries in Melbourne and Sydney, all with a focus on the representation and exhibition of Australian indigenous visual artists. Vivien has directed her own specialist gallery in Melbourne since 2006.The current gallery is in St Kilda. Vivien Anderson is a former board member of the Art Galleries Australia Association and is a current board member of the Indigenous Code of Conduct. 

Key people

Maree Di Pasquale

CEO and Fair Director 

Maree Di Pasquale is credited with successfully repositioning and relaunching Melbourne Art Fair 2018 in the Southbank Arts Precinct as a leading showcase for Australasian contemporary art.

She was previously Director of Strategic Partnerships, MCB Visit Victoria (2016-2017). A member of the leadership team for Art Fairs Australia / Single Market Events (2010-2016), Maree played a pivotal role in developing new ventures in new markets, most notably as founding Director of Art Central Hong Kong (2014-2016) and Assistant Director of Sydney Contemporary (2013) and Melbourne Art Fair (2014). She has also delivered public programs for Abu Dhabi Art Fair and the Saadiyat Island Cultural District (Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Zayed National Museum) (2009-2010).

BA Creative Industries, QUT. MA Marketing, Melbourne Business School. Board Member 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.   

Emily Cormack

2020 Artistic Director 

Emily Cormack has been curating exhibitions and public art since 2001 in an institutional and freelance context throughout the Asia Pacific region and in Europe. Recent exhibitions include From Will to Form: 2018 Tarrawarra Biennale, and Primavera: Young Australian Artists (2016) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

She has been co-curator of major international projects including; City Within the City (2011), Art Sonje, Seoul, South Korea; Still Vast Reserves (2010), Magazzino d’Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy; And the Difference Is (2009), National University Museum, Singapore; The Independence Project (2008), Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and 100 sound Works By 100 Sound Artists from the 21st Century (2008), Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne. Since 2001 she has curated over 27 exhibitions and managed more than fifty, as well as consulting on numerous public art projects. Emily has worked as Curator at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, the Adam Art Gallery, Wellington and as Co-Founder and Co-Director of Conical ARI, Melbourne. In 2005, Emily managed the New Zealand Pavilion at the Venice Biennial, and in 2003 she undertook a Curatorial Internship at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

Esther Currie

Fair Manager 

Esther Currie is a small business strategist turned arts manager who works with galleries, not-for-profits and artists to pass on her knowledge, passion and experience in both the art and business worlds, not only to those with a long-held passion for the arts, but to those fostering an interest. Alongside this, she enjoys looking at the bigger picture and coming up with solutions to other people’s problems.  
 
Esther believes the beauty of art lies in the unspoken interactions between art and onlooker: it connects with people, challenges them and communicates ideas. Great art puts people outside of their comfort zones and stimulates conversation which she thinks is a pretty special thing.  
 
She has previously lent her talents to Sullivan + Strumpf where she was gallery manager for 3 years, driving their art fair strategy and participation in Australia and the region. Prior to her entry into the artworld, Esther worked in the MedTech start-up space, bringing her commercial skills and entrepreneurial spirit to her role with MAF.
 
Esther holds an MA in Art Curatorship from The University of Melbourne and a PGDip Art History and Theory alongside a BCApSc from The University of Otago. 

Kim O'Connell

Operations Director 

Over the past 20 years Kim has forged a diverse career in production across festivals, events, theatre, film, television and peak cultural institutions. 

He is currently working as Production Manager – Special Events for Melbourne International Comedy Festival, after contracts as Production Manager for the Sydney Festival and Melbourne Festival. Kim returned to Melbourne in 2016 for the role of Events Operations Manager at the NGV, after two years in Tasmania working as Operations Manager for Ten Days on the Island, and Production Manager with Mona / Dark Mofo. 

He was the Video Designer on award winning theatre and TV productions such as The Lost Thing with Academy Award winner Shaun Tan, and Knot @ Home with SBS and Big hArt, and continues to work as Producer/Director on large-scale AV events.

VIP Relations

Melbourne Art Fair was the first commercial fair of the Asia Pacific to establish an international network for collectors to connect and engage with the Australian art market. The Melbourne Art Fair VIP network is engaged through an exclusive concierge service and a 4-day VIP Program to ensure a first-class cultural experience. The program includes invitation only dinners, studio visits, corporate and private collection tours, exhibition openings and private events.

For more information on the Melbourne Art Fair VIP Program, or to register your interest, please email: 

VIP@melbourneartfoundation.com

Melbourne Art Fair acknowledges the Boonwurrung and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of Melbourne and pays respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of lands and waters across Australia and recognise that Indigenous sovereignty has never been ceded.

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