The art economies value chain reports: artists and art centre production

Aboriginal people (Australia) Torres Strait Islander people Arts First Peoples art Rural and remote communities Australia
Attachment Size
apo-nid75744.pdf 2.39 MB

The total number of artists estimated to be working with Art Centres is 13,196. The Art Centre data represented 80% (n= 10,338) of the estimated total population of Art Centre artists. Approximately 70% of artists were female, and 30% of artists were over 55 years old. Art Centre data represented 391,025 art products. Records with date information were available for 247,520 products from 1980 to 2012. The Western Desert art region accounts for 50% of art production in remote Australia. Art product sales in 2008–12, based on the Art Centre data, generated $52.7 million. This is a $6 million increase in sales value and 40,000 more art products than in 2003–07. The number of products increased in most art regions. Analysis indicates that there were over 60,000 art products that were produced but not sold in the 10 years from 2003 to 2012 inclusive. The artists’ commission is 60%, equating to $30 million income to artists. There are challenges for Art Centres and artists: the mean value of products declined over this period, and the length of time that art products remained in stock increased. Faster sales of the art products and reduction in stock could generate significant income for Art Centres. Between 2008 and 2012, paintings represented 91.36% of sales, with fabrics representing 0.26%, works on paper 3.30% and sculpture 5.08% of sales. Paintings increased their market share, while sculpture declined. Products valued at under $1000 represent nearly 90% of all products produced in Australia. The trend is towards smaller art products. The smallest size, 30 x 30 cm paintings and under, increased in mean value from $60 to $73 across the 2003–2012 time frame. The numbers of smaller sized paintings produced also increased. Larger paintings were more likely to remain in stock; they are harder to sell, partly because they are more expensive. Younger artists (under 30 years) had a significant change in the mean value of their art product sales, from $659 to $388, a 40% decrease. Younger artists produce less valuable art products, primarily products valued at under $1000. Artists over 55 years old account for 30% of the artist population but 55% of the value of art product sales. Their sales are primarily derived from higher value (over $5000) art products. Older artists produce higher value, larger paintings, but have had the largest fall in income. Artists over 67 years old had the largest decrease in mean value of art products: a 52% fall for art products between the periods 2003–07 and 2008–12. The mean value for female artists’ art products in 2008–12 was $414; for males it was $661. The higher mean value that male artists are achieving is because male artists produce fewer low value products than female artists during their career. All age groups and both genders had a decrease in the mean sales value of their art products between the periods 2003–07 and 2008–12.

Publication Details
Access Rights Type: