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Melbourne Art Fair

Melbourne Art Fair returns 2-5 August [Vernissage, 1 August]. The 2018 edition will showcase a curated selection of 40 leading galleries, presenting works by some of the newest and most respected contemporary artists from Australia, New Zealand and the region.

As the flagship event of Melbourne Art Week [30 July – 5 August], Melbourne Art Fair has partnered with 50+ galleries and cultural institutions across Australia’s capital of culture to create a dynamic calendar of talks, tours, events and performances that will celebrate contemporary art and encourage participation and discourse. 

Set to attract over 20,000 art lovers over 5 days, the Fair and its associated programs will activate the city’s vibrant artistic centre, the Southbank Arts Precinct.

Over its 30 year history, Melbourne Art Fair has been instrumental in stimulating critical and commercial attention for galleries and their artists, presenting and celebrating the rich and diverse cross-section of the region’s visual art scene.

Beginning in 1988, Melbourne Art Fair was the first commercial fair of the Asia Pacific to establish a global network for collectors to connect and engage with the Australian art market. Consequently, Victorian based philanthropic support for arts and culture is the strongest in the nation.

A truly global city, Melbourne is enriched by a population from over 200 countries and this cultural framework continues to influence the Fair’s creative offering. Host city to 48 private museums, world-class institutions and galleries including ACCA, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Victoria [ranked 19th most popular gallery in the world], as well as one of the largest concentrations of commercial galleries in the country, Melbourne is a fitting location for Australasia’s most critically important commercial platform for the presentation and celebration of contemporary art.

Image: Sam Jinks, Reunion 2016, Silicone, pigment, resin, human. Courtesy the artist and Sullivan+Strump (Sydney)





2016, Silicone, pigment, resin, human. Courtesy the artist and


Melbourne Art 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 events Melbourne Art Fair and the Awards for the Visual Arts

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. 


Melbourne Art Foundation is committed to the support and development of Australian contemporary art and living artists and through its donor program, raises funds for initiatives that include artwork commissions, education programs, exhibitions, grants and awards.

You can support by making a small donation or by joining our Patrons Program. Contributes great and small are valued. 

Melbourne Art Foundation has Deductible Gift Recipient Status and Charitable Tax Concessions Status. Donations over $2 to the Melbourne Art Foundation Fund are tax deductible. The generosity of our donors is acknowledged in relevant marketing collateral and on our website.

For more information on the Melbourne Art Foundation Donor Program please email


$10 – $499

Individual donations are vital for the future growth of our organisation and help us to generate programs that develop audiences for contemporary art, and stimulate critical and commercial attention for Australian living artists. In 2018, your gift will contribute to: 

Talks is a free for the public program promoting discussion, education and interest in contemporary art practice in Australia and the Asia Pacific region, and includes interviews, talks and panels with artists, curators, collectors and critics. Talks 2018 is presented in conjunction with the University of Melbourne.

A monetary grant provided to selected Australasian ARIs and art spaces to realise a non-commercial exhibition at the biennial Melbourne Art Fair. In 2018 the Project Rooms include IMA (Brisbane), Gertrude Contemporary (Melbourne), Blak Dot Gallery (Melbourne) and The Physics Room (Christchurch).

A proposal-based exhibition platform showcasing the works of time-based media, including moving image, sound and performance art, presented across five locations around the city of Melbourne during Melbourne Art Week. Donations are attributed directly to artist fees.

Patrons Program

The Melbourne Art Foundation relies on the support and generosity of Friends and Patrons to ensure the continued success of its flagship programs.

Support us: 

Become a Melbourne Art Foundation Friend and gain behind-the-scenes access to the celebrated Melbourne Art Week and its flagship event, Melbourne Art Fair, as well as invitations and access to year-round events. 

  • Invitation to the Melbourne Art Fair Vernissage (Wednesday 1 August, 5.00pm to 8.00pm)
  • Access to the Melbourne Art Fair Collector Program
  • Invitation to the Visual Arts Awards (Saturday 4 August, 6.30pm till late)
  • Reserved seating for the Melbourne Art Week Keynote (Tuesday 31 July, 6.30pm)
  • Reserved seating for the Talks Program (Thursday 2 August – Sunday 5 August)
  • Invitations to exclusive events, exhibitions and performances year-round
  • Friend acknowledgement on the Melbourne Art Fair website 

$1,000 – $5,000

Contributions help fund a range of contemporary art programs delivered by Melbourne Art Foundation in support of contemporary art and living artists. In 2018, funds contributed by our Commission Patrons will help realise the Melbourne Art Foundation Commission, a program providing a living artist with a significant opportunity to realise a large-scale work for unveiling at Melbourne Art Fair. Previous partners in the program include institutions NGV, QAGOMA, the University of Queensland Art Museum, MCA, Art Gallery of South Australia, and the National Gallery of Australia; and artists such as Michael Parekowhai, David Griggs, Peter Hennessey, Jon Campbell, Ian Burns, and Mika Dwyer.

The 2018 Commission has been awarded to New Zealand born, Melbourne-based artist Ronnie van Hout and is commissioned in conjunction with Bendigo Art Gallery and supported by Artwork Transport. Commissioned for the first time in partnership with a regional Victorian institution, the ambitious large-scale work will be unveiled and exhibited at Melbourne Art Fair before moving to its permanent home at Bendigo Art Gallery. Ronnie van Hout is represented by STATION (Melbourne) and Darren Knight Gallery (Sydney).


  • The generosity of our patrons is acknowledged in relevant marketing collateral and on our website
  • Invitations to Melbourne Art Fair 2018 and its affiliated programs:
    • Melbourne Art Fair Collector Preview
    • Melbourne Fair Vernissage and After-party at QT Melbourne
    • Access to the Melbourne Art Fair Collector Program: a 5-day by-invitation only program that includes private events, exhibition viewings, artist studio visits and private collection tours
    • Visual Arts Awards and After-party at ACCA
  • Invitations to exclusive art events, exhibitions and performances year-round hosted by Melbourne Art Foundation programs partner organisations


Contributions from Principal Patrons help realise a specific Melbourne Art Foundation project or commission in support of a living Australian artist. You may contribute to an existing initiative, or contribute to a new project that we develop in conjunction with you as a Patron. To learn more about our Principal Patrons Program and potential opportunities for artists for 2018-2019, please contact Melbourne Art Foundation CEO, Maree Di Pasquale, on +61 3 9015 7822.  

The Team

Maree Di Pasquale
Director and CEO

Maree commenced the role of Director and CEO of the Melbourne Art Foundation in June 2017, having previously returned to Melbourne for the role of Director of Strategic Partnerships, MCB Visit Victoria (2016-2017). She was a founding Director of Art Central Hong Kong (2014-2016) and Assistant Director of Sydney Contemporary and Melbourne Art Fair (2012-2014).

Maree has also delivered public programs for Abu Dhabi Art Fair (2009 and 2010 editions) and the Saadiyat Island Cultural District, working with curators, artists and academics at Agence France-Muséums, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the British Museum to develop exhibition programs for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Zayed National Museum. Maree has a BA Visual Arts QUT, MA Marketing from Melbourne Business School and is Board Member for 4A Centre of Contemporary Asian Art in Sydney.

Nicole Kenning 
Marketing Director

Nicole has over 15 years’ experience working for high profile commercial and not for profit arts organisations in the UK and Australia including Christie’s London, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Mossgreen and Leonard Joel Auction Houses.

At Christie’s, Nicole managed marketing campaigns for the prestigious Impressionist, Modern Post-War & Contemporary Art auctions as well as international campaigns for Christie’s Switzerland, Middle-East & Russia.

As Marketing & Communications Manager at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Nicole devised campaigns for exhibitions, membership, public and education programs.

Rhiannon Broomfield 
Senior Publicist

Rhiannon is a PR professional with more than 15 years experience working for high profile arts and corporate organisations including Christie’s, Bonhams, Reuters and Microsoft in the UK and Australia. At Christie’s Rhiannon managed the UK press team, overseeing campaigns for high profile auctions including The Princess Margaret Collection, Claude Monet, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. In Australia, she handled publicity for Bonhams’ record-breaking auction of the Grundy Collection and delivered public relations campaigns in her role as PR Director at Articulate for high profile arts and design names such as MPavilion, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Kerry Phelan Design Office, Mossgreen and Bundanon Trust.

Rachel Ciesla
Administrator, Galleries and Programs

Rachel has worked in the contemporary arts sector across a variety of curatorial, marketing and administrative roles. With an interest in critically-engaged practices that address issues of identity and community, she has delivered a broad range of exhibitions, public artworks and public programs, working as a consulting coordinator for Artsource (Perth) and as General Manager of ARI, Paper Mountain (Perth). Rachel is undertaking a MA Curatorship at the University of Melbourne and holds a BA in Art History from the University of Western Australia.

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.

Laura Crennan 
VIP & Partnerships Account Manager 

Laura Crennan is a long term advocate for the contemporary Australian art industry and is passionate about the effective promotion and support of Australian artists.  Currently completing her graduate studies in Art History at The University of Melbourne, Laura is a member of the NGV Women’s Association and has worked across a broad range of event management, marketing and media relations roles in the arts, hospitality and sports industries.  She is currently the Sponsorship Manager and committee member for the children’s charity, Artists for Kids Culture. In 2017, Laura held the position of Marketing and Partnership Manager for Notel Melbourne and has recently worked as team leader for the Founders’ Club at Tennis Australia.


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.

Schwartz opened SCHWARTZCARRIAGEWORKS in Sydney in 2008 to challenge the relationship between the public and the private, presenting major projects by international artists and curators.

Anna Schwartz Gallery publishes books and artist monographs through Schwartz City; substantial texts by leading writers on the country’s most influential artists.  Cultivating close ties between the gallery, the imprint, and the broader arts industry, Schwartz supports Australian writers, designers, performers and filmmakers, through ongoing dialogue and patronage.

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. 


N’arweet Carolyn Briggs, Boon Wurrung senior elder, chair and founder of the Boon Wurrung Foundation

Penny Clive, Collector and arts patron 

David Flack, Director, Flack Studio 

Lucy Folk, Founder and Creative Director, Lucy Folk 

Pascale Gomes-McNabb, Architect 

Louise Hearman, Artist 

Bill Henson, Artist 

Gerry Hetet, Interior Designer 

Tamsin Johnson, Interior Designer 

Randal Marsh, Architect 

Toni Matičevski, Designer

Naomi Milgrom, Collector and arts patron

Christie Nicolaides, Australian Jewelry Designer 

Lisa Paulsen, Collector and arts patron 

Simon Wright, Assistant Director QAGOMA 

Ben Quilty, Artist