Backspace Gallery presents a vibrant program of exhibitions which showcase contemporary art, craft and design and celebrates the arts in our region. Backspace Gallery, part of the Art Gallery of Ballarat, provides early career regional artists with an opportunity to exhibit in a professionally supported gallery.
This profession development opportunity is available to artists in the early stage of their professional career, usually within the first five to ten years of professional practice.
Situated on the ground floor within the main Art Gallery of Ballarat building. Backspace exhibitions are staffed and open to visitors during regular Gallery hours, seven days a week.
There is no fee to exhibit in Backspace Gallery. Exhibitors receive assistance with installation and publicity and an opening event (subject to government health regulations). Artists that choose to sell their works through the Gallery Shop are charged a 30% commission on all sales.
All applications for inclusion in the program are evaluated by a selection committee and are based on the written application and supporting material supplied in the online form.
Artists exhibiting in Backspace Gallery are required to: provide artwork that is the original work of the exhibiting artist(s), sign an Exhibition Agreement and work collaboratively with Art Gallery of Ballarat staff in facilitating the exhibition.
Preference will be given to applicants living or working in the City of Ballarat and wider region. Applications from artists outside this area are welcome but will need to demonstrate a connection or benefit to Ballarat or region.
Applicants who have exhibited, or will be exhibiting, in a City of Ballarat space such as ArtSpace or Unicorn Lane between 2021 and 2023 calendar year are ineligible to apply to exhibit in Backspace in the 2022 round to ensure that opportunities provided to artists by the City of Ballarat are distributed as widely as possible.
Backspace Gallery showcases the City of Ballarat’s commitment to a creative city by encouraging the development of innovative arts practice in the Ballarat region. This callout covers exhibition proposals for mid 2023 to mid 2024.
Selection process and criteria
Backspace Gallery exhibition proposals will be assessed by a selection panel using the following criteria:
Timing: Whether the applicant has exhibited in a City of Ballarat space in the previous 12 months and whether the exhibition ties into a specific event or anniversary
Clarity: Clear and cohesive exhibition rationale with a strong concept
Quality: Examples of work that demonstrate experience in producing high quality innovative artworks to public gallery standards. The artist’s prior practice, exhibition record, and demonstrated history of excellence will be taken into account.
Capacity building: Potential contribution to local creative professional development
Engagement: Relevance to wider Gallery programming or community groups and activities, and will the exhibition help attract new audiences
Balance: Overall balance across the year’s exhibition program
Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application within four weeks of the closing date of application.
Services provided by the Gallery
- curatorial advice and support
- layout and installation of the exhibition
- an opening event (subject to government health regulations)
- digital exhibition invitations/flyers
- advertising and promotion
Applications are open
Applications close 8 May at 5pm