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MAKER TO MANUFACTURER TO MARKET COMMERCIALISES CREATIVE CONCEPTS

The Australia Council for the Arts today launched a $300,000 initiative – Maker to Manufacturer to Market – that will help visual artists turn creative ideas into commercial success.

In 2006, Maker to Manufacturer to Market (MMM) will encourage three entrepreneurial craft and design artists–through individual grants worth $30,000–to commercialise their artistic work, taking it through the manufacturing and retail process.

Funding through the initiative will be given to craft and design artists who demonstrate the potential to make a prototype, manufacture a product, and then package their work for the market.

The initiative has received funding for the next two years as part of the Australia Council’s recent commitment of $2.8 million to seven strategic initiatives aimed at increasing artists’ earned incomes.

Australia Council for the Arts chief executive officer Jennifer Bott said the initiative had been conceived to help visual arts professionals navigate the complex challenges presented by today’s marketplace.

‘Artists must present their work as filling a distinctive and unique niche in the marketplace to be commercially successful. They must communicate their value to our culture and economy, and present themselves as distinctive sources of knowledge and learning,’ Ms Bott said.

‘Craft and design artists are well placed to capitalise on the modern consumer market–no other artform can claim to be as close to our domestic life, technology, social history and the traditions of public spaces.’

The three recipients of last year’s MMM pilot attended today’s launch, exhibiting their artworks and demonstrating the commercial viability of their finished products.

  • Oliver Smith – a leading silversmith from the ACT who has designed a functional range of metal objects for the table
  • Bianca Looney – a Melbourne-based designer who has developed a three-dimensional tiling system called the Z-series that takes its inspiration from the Australian landscape
  • Rod Bamford – a NSW artist who has developed a limited edition range of high quality vase and bowl forms that have rich photographic imagery mapped to the surface.

‘The inspiring works of Oliver, Bianca and Rod are indicative of a new spirit of collaboration among craft and design practitioners and manufacturers. They are equally comfortable with humble materials and new technologies. The works themselves reflect contemporary aesthetic values and suggest a range of personal and functional uses,’ Ms Bott said.

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