Artsbox

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Artsbox is a vibrant, intimate and creative space home to Artists-in-Residence throughout the year, located outside the Footscray Library. It is a space for emerging, mid-career and professional artists to create new work, test and explore ideas, and develop their arts practice. Resident artists are often present at various times throughout the week, so why not pop by and see what they’re up to?

 

Apply for residency

Artists, performers and writers can apply for creative residencies at Footscray’s Artsbox and Bluestone Church Arts Space. The short-term residencies (up to eight weeks) provide artists with the space to create new work, test and explore ideas, and develop your arts practice. Artists of all genres and mediums are welcome to apply. There is no requirement for you to be a resident of the City of Maribyrnong.

Testimonials from previous Artsbox artists-in-residence

When you work in the arts – writing, fine art, costume, etc. – there’s a good chance that you don’t earn enough to justify hiring out a space of your own. You make do with the space you have in your room, in your house. You have a few options for how you might feel about this. You can get down about it or get angry. (Most artists earn WELL under the minimum wage, once costs and time has been ironed out.) But neither of these are sustainable for artistic practice in the long term. So instead you sit in your living room or the desk in your room and you applaud yourself for being frugal and versatile. It does have its downsides, though. Having a desk right next to your bed like I do – the lines between resting, living and work get blurred.

When I walked into Artsbox for the first time it was truly thrilling. Having a space like that – not a huge amount for an office, but a decadent amount for an arts practice – I could feel the luxury of spreading out, of making mess and of experimenting. It was such a pleasure to have a space where I could invite people to come and work with me, to create and tinker at my own pace and to get me out of the house.

I feel like a lot of people who don’t work in the arts see residencies as these deeply hedonistic things where you can just go and make art. What they don’t realise is that it’s work, same as any other. That we love it shouldn’t change the fact that it is work in the same way we don’t tell CEOs to work for free because they love their job. Residencies like the Artsbox are a validation and recognition of the work, the practice and the art. They are incredibly vital to the lifeblood of practice and project, allowing for artists like myself to experiment and fail in a safe environment.

Fury the Poet
Artsbox Resident September-October 2019

 

I am very grateful to have been an artist in residence at Artsbox in early 2019.  It was brilliant to have a dedicated space to work and six weeks to develop a pitch for a non-fiction picture book. The location of the Artsbox right next to the Footscray library couldn't have been more ideal for me. I had direct access to a wealth of resources. The Footscray Library staff were supportive, welcoming and very helpful. 

At the time of the residency, I had illustrated two baby books but never tried writing a children's book. During the residency, I researched factual content for the book and experimented with narrative structures, prose and rhyme. It felt great to arrive at the Artsbox each day to work on my project and the change of location from my home studio was energising.  In May 2019, I pitched a new non-fiction manuscript to an Australian publisher and I'm thrilled to say that I now have an author/ illustrator contract.  Writing my second book pitch was so much easier than my first. Without a doubt, my residency at Artsbox helped equip me for this.  I recommend the Artsbox residency to anyone who is looking for time and space to develop a project or dive deep into a body of work. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

Sarah Allen - Illustrator
Artsbox Resident February-March 2019

 

During my Artsbox residency, Council went above and beyond to help me with many incredible networking opportunities within the community, plus ongoing support to achieve my artistic goals. I felt nurtured as an artist the entire residency by the open armed support and recommend this to any artist wanting to apply!

Dallas Frasca - Musician / Festival Director A Hitch to the Sticks
Artsbox Resident February-March 2018

 

I was lucky enough to complete a two month residency at Artsbox and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity. Having a fully equipped space to go to every day and create work surrounded by the bubbling Footscray community was a wonderful experience. Thanks so much to Maribyrnong City Council for creating and managing such a unique resource and opening it up to artists.

Ben Davis - Illustrator
Artsbox Resident August-September 2018

 

As an artist, a residency is a valuable experience and Artsbox allowed me to work continuously for a sustained period of time. Residencies validate an artist’s practise, giving them unique experiences that can be drawn on for much longer than the period of time physically spent at the residency. The unique location of Artsbox added a particular stimulus to my work – the rich cultural diversity of Footscray provides a two way street for artists and passer-by. My interactions with the people of Footscray were positive and I believe the many visitors to Artsbox gained through this shared arts experience.

Lee Bethel - an artist working with paper
Artsbox Resident August 2017

 

Meet the artists

Resident artists are often present at various times throughout the week, so why not pop by and see what they’re up to?