About art centres

“Desart supports art centres – they are the main place in everyone’s community that keeps culture strong… It is important for me to be part of this strong organisation and for us to do this work, to share our culture and stories through art and leave good things for our young people.”
– Isobel Gorey, Desart Chairperson

About art centres

Central Australia is widely regarded as the birthplace of the contemporary Aboriginal art movement. Artists living and working on Country continue to transform art and cultural expression, and art centres are a vital part of community life.

Owned and governed by Aboriginal people, art centres are spaces where culture is kept strong, passed on between old and young, and where Aboriginal people share their stories, art and culture with the world.

These safe and social spaces often become the hub of a community and engage with various services from aged care to painting banners for the weekend’s footy match.

When an artwork is sold, most of the funds go to the artist and a small portion goes back to the art centre for operations and community programs.

Ethical purchasing

Choose Culture first and purchase from Aboriginal Art Centres.

Sourcing Aboriginal art from art centres means you are purchasing ethically and authentically produced work. In many remote Central Australian communities, artwork sales are the main source of income so your purchase means you are supporting families, jobs and whole communities and investing in the careers of Aboriginal artists and art workers.

You are also supporting Aboriginal art centres to achieve autonomy, sustained growth and stability and support the next generations of artists on their country and in their communities.

Things to look for

– Buy direct from Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander owned art centres

– If buying from an art dealer or gallery, confirm that they are a member of the Indigenous Art Code www.indigenousartcode.org

– Always ask for a Certificate of Authenticity. This should include the name of the artist, the title of the artwork, the artist’s biographical details and the story of the artwork.

Pictured: George and Nola Campbell works outside Warakurna art centre. Photo courtesy the art centre.