Masters Mentoring, VCA Art Award Appeal

We are currently not accepting further donations to the program.


Entering its eighth year, this annual Award is presented to up to five VCA Visual Art students at the Grad Show Awards ceremony in November. Selected by the School of Art from student applications, each recipient is a final year Masters student, who will benefit from mentoring by an established VCA Alumni artist and their representing gallery. The mentoring focuses on learning beyond the institution, providing hands on industry exposure and guidance around development of a sustainable career practice.


The Masters Mentoring, VCA Art Award is an opportunity for Melbourne’s 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 of our supporters. 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


2024 marks the eighth 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 Sean Meilak, Kenny Pittock, Mira Gojak, Brent Harris, John Meade, Rose Nolan, Sally Smart, Darren Sylvester – and alongside Melbourne’s leading galleries such as Daine Singer, Tolarno Gallery, LON Gallery, Neon Parc, 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
"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 and the art-loving public.

For existing supporters, we thank you for your ongoing generosity that makes this mentoring possible and welcome and encourage 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