Make Art Possible – Masters Mentoring, VCA Art Award Appeal

We invite Melbourne’s art-loving community to reaffirm its support for emerging artistic talent. Opportunities to donate and support this program are still open.


Now in its sixth year, this annual Award has been presented to five VCA Visual Art students at the end of year Grad Show Awards ceremony. Selected by Faculty from student applications, each recipient is a final Masters year student, and will enjoy a mentoring program with an established VCA Alumni artist and their representing gallery. The mentoring focuses on learning beyond the classroom walls, providing hands on industry exposure and guidance around development of each artist’s own sustainable career practice.


The Masters Mentoring, VCA Art Award is an opportunity for the art loving public to support our next wave of artistic talent. We do this by recognising the importance of mentoring, providing students with access to Alumni leadership and wisdom in how to navigate industry dynamics and build a career practice. This award is made possible by the generosity of our philanthropic contributions. It is a pathway for art lovers to give and rally together to nurture Australia’s brightest emerging talents.

As a mentor and supporter, VCA Access offers unique insight into artists' worlds, not to mention excellent access to artist studios, exhibitions and art fairs. The experience has been invaluable.
Sally Ross
VCA Alumni and Mentor, 2018


2022 marks the sixth year of this mentoring program.  With Ambassadors Patricia Piccinini and Michael Buxton, the mentoring program has built an impressive alumni of past mentors and students that includes Ben Armstrong, Mira Gojak, Brent Harris, John Meade, Rose Nolan, Sally Smart, Sally Smith, Darren Sylvester – and alongside Melbourne and Sydney’s leading galleries such as Anna Schwartz, Daine Singer, Tolarno Gallery, Murray White, Neon Park, Sarah Cottier, Sarah Scout Presents, Sophie Gannon, Station Gallery and Sutton Gallery.

The marvellous thing of unquantifiable value in this program is the dialogue between Mentor and mentored.
Benjamin Armstrong
VCA Alumni and Mentor, 2020/2021


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Make art possible, and lend your financial support to the 2022 Masters Mentoring, VCA Art Award.

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Without your support, we risk seeing artists leave the sector in search of financial security. Your contribution gives emerging artists the stability and confidence they need to establish a solid foundation for a sustainable art practice. Following almost two years of restrictions and hardship, now more than ever, support for our talented art community is needed.

I’ve found it so beneficial to have an alternate and supportive perspective, not only about studying and making art within the masters program at VCA, but as life as an artist on the whole.
Tess Mehonoshen
Final year Master of Art student, 2021 mentoring program


Connection and community are the heartbeat of a thriving arts scene. The dynamic mentoring experience offered through the Masters Mentoring, VCA Art Award brings together VCA Art Masters students, VCA Alumni mentors, their representing galleries, philanthropists, and the art-loving public.

We call our philanthropic art-loving group VCA Access. We are committed to elevating emerging artistic talent and for five years, we have worked in partnership with the VCA to manage this annual mentoring program.

For existing supporters, we thank you for your ongoing generosity that makes this mentoring possible and welcome new supporters to join with us in this important contribution. 

The biggest challenge facing emerging artists today is working out how to make art and also effectively operate as a small business .... on top of just making the work you want to make for your own reasons.
Sarah Rudledge
VCA Alumni, 2020 mentoring program