• Class Number 2023
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Jennifer Robertson
    • Kate Murphy
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

Professional Practices aims to provide a basic understanding of the economic and legal framework of the art world: to provide an understanding of the skills necessary for an artist to practice professionally and to introduce resources available to artists to assist their economic survival in the production of art. This course may be delivered as a semester length course or offered as an intensive.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Compare and critically analyse venue exhibition presentation
  2. Reflect on and discuss your own learning as it relates to the subject matter of the course.
  3. Use knowledge of the cultural sector in Australia to develop an appropriately targeted package of professional promotional material.
  4. Prepare and present a professional artist's portfolio including written material and visual representation.
  5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the moral, legal and professional framework of the Art and Craft sector.

Field Trips

There will be between 1 – 3 excursions to local galleries over the course of the semester. Please refer to the course timetable to check the location of the lecture each week.

Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

Learning Resources and Prescribed Texts:

The majority of the readings and weekly focus texts will be supplied as PDFs or links to online articles and resources through the course Wattle site. Library resources you will find useful include:

Parliament; Australia. Dept. of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts; Myer, R, Inquiry into the Contemporary Visual Arts and Craft Sector, (Canberra, Dept. of Communications, Information Technology & the Arts, 2002)

Branagan, A, The essential guide to business for artists and designers: an enterprise manual for visual artists and creative professionals (London : A. & C. Black, 2011)

Buskirk, M, Creative enterprise: contemporary art between museum and marketplace (New York, N.Y. : Continuum, 2012)

Hartley, J, Key concepts in creative industries (Los Angeles, CA : SAGE, 2013) Horowitz, N Art of the deal: contemporary art in a global financial market ( Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2011)

Knell, SJ ed, Museums in the material world, (London ; New York : Routledge, 2007)

Marincola, P, What makes a great exhibition? (Philadelphia, PA : Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage ; Chicago, IL : Distributed for Reaktion Books in the USA and Canada by the University of Chicago Press, c2006)

McClellan, Andrew ed, Art and its publics: museum studies at the millennium, (Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub. Co., 2003) Moeran, B; Alacovska, A eds, Creative Industries : critical readings, (Oxford : Berg, 2011)

National Association for the Visual Arts, Celebrating arts philanthropy: 10 years of the Pat Corrigan Artists' Grant (Potts Point, N.S.W. NAVA, 2000)

O'Neill, Paul, The culture of curating and the curating of culture(s) (Cambridge, Massachusetts ; London, England : The MIT Press, 2012)

Registrars Committee of the American Association of Museums Registrars on record: essays on museum collections management (Washington, D.C.: Registrars Committee of the American Association of Museums, c1995)

Steinberg, D, The Kickstarter handbook: real-life crowdfunding success stories (Philadelphia : Quirk Books, c2012)

Smithson, P, Installing Exhibitions, (London : A & C Black May 2010 Gordonsville: Macmillan)

Throsby, D and Hollister, V, Don’t give up your day job: an economic study of professional artists in Australia, Australia Council, Surry Hills NSW 2003 

The following publications from the National Association for the Visual Arts, Potts Point, NSW, 2009, are all in the reference section of the Art School Library

  • Art censorship guide: what you should know about threats to artistic freedom and how to deal with them
  • The code of practice for the professional Australian visual arts, craft and design sector
  • Rights & restrictions
  • Occupational health, safety & environmental issues
  • Contracts & agreements
  • Revenue raising
  • Taxation 
  • Marketing
  • The code of practice for the professional Australian visual arts, craft and design sector
  • Money for visual artists

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Verbal feedback for tutorial presentations and a short written summary via Wattle
  • Written feedback on assignments delivered via Wattle
  •  Additional individual verbal and written feedback as required 

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to Professional Practices, overview of cultural sector in Australia. assessment items 1-4
2 Writing about your work: artist statements and cv. assessment items 1-4
3 Project management- planning exhibitions and events. assessment items 1-4
4 Practical Skills – Documenting your work assessment items 1-4
5 Marketing and publicity for artists assessment items 1-4
6 Tutorial presentations assessment items 1-4
7 Show me the money - sourcing funding, writing grant applications assessment items 1-4
8 Excursion to the National Gallery of Australia assessment items 1-4
9 The professional Context - working with commercial galleries and businesses assessment items 1-4
10 The professional context, networks and relationships, guest speakers assessment items 1-4
11 Artists in business, understanding tax, structuring your arts business assessment items 1-4
12 Life after art school – creating a sustainable practice assessment items 1-4

Tutorial Registration

via wattle

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Gallery audit oral presentation 25 % 05/04/2019 24/04/2019 1, 2, 5
Background research for project proposal 20 % 05/04/2019 24/04/2019 3, 4, 5
Artist portfolio and project proposal 45 % 06/06/2019 04/07/2019 3, 4, 5
Participation 10 % 06/06/2019 04/07/2019 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students must participate actively in the course through reading of assigned texts and participation in class discussion. Please note that participation includes regular reading specified in the weekly reading guide and contributing to tutorial discussions. Some of the weekly readings for Professional Practices will require students to source information on professional resources and opportunities to bring for class discussion. 



Assessment Task 1

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 05/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 24/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 5

Gallery audit oral presentation

Overview of task

As part of your preparation to become a professional artist you are expected to keep in touch with the sector in which you aim to work. This assignment is designed to encourage the habit of attending exhibitions in Canberra, or interstate if you travel.

Details of task

This assignment has two components: 1. a gallery audit, and 2. a class presentation

Part 1. Select 5 exhibitions/events (they should all be different venues), visit the venue and complete a gallery audit form analysing the exhibition and venue presentation. (You may not include galleries visited prior to semester 1, 2019) Gallery audit forms will be provided in class.


  • What is expected of both artist and venues in presenting exhibitions to the public;
  • Is the venue appropriate for the exhibition/s it is hosting;
  • What resources accompany the exhibition (lights, hanging devices, interpretation, signage, public program,reviews…);
  • Is the exhibition satisfactory from a professional viewpoint?

This is not a review of the exhibition content but an analysis of the exhibition and venue presentation.

Part 2. Select one of the venues you audited and prepare an 8-10 minute presentation providing your critical response to the selected exhibition/venue. You will be expected to present this information in a professional manner and sticking to the timeframe. 

Assessment criteria: Your tutorial presentation will be assessed according to the following criteria: 

  • Relevance to the course material
  • Evidence of wide and critical reading and research
  • Good and relevant use of support material such as images or information handouts
  • Your ability to interpret the material being discussed, rather than simply to provide information about it
  • Your ability to involve your fellow students in discussion

Word limit: approximately 1000 words

Presentation time: 10 minutes

Value: 25% of total mark

Due date: The presentations will be scheduled during class in the format of a mini conference – proposed date Week 6

Presentation requirements: You should hand up your tutorial presentation after the class, or the following week at the latest via turnitin. This should comprise your notes comprehensively written out plus details of images that you used, a bibliography, including URLs of all websites used and the gallery audit forms for the venues you visited.

Estimated return date: Feedback on tutorial presentations will be given two weeks after the presentation, provided you have handed in your tutorial notes and audit forms.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 05/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 24/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 5

Background research for project proposal

Overview of task

This task is designed to help you with getting the research under way for your major assignment. The focus of this assignment is on finding appropriate venues and formats for exhibiting; and comparing and evaluating the opportunities potential venues may provide the context of your individual practice

Details of task

Write a critical outline of approximately 1000 words in length discussing three venues/formats you could potentially use to exhibit your work and could develop further for the Exhibition/project proposal component of the portfolio assignment. 

Your assignment must include:

  • A brief description of the nature of your work
  • An outline of three proposed venues/formats for the presentation of the work
  • A comparison of the three options and why they are relevant for your work
  • Which of the three possibilities has the most potential for the final assignment and why?
  • A bibliography 

Assessment Criteria: The assignment will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Relevance of chosen exhibition venues/proposed projects
  • Clear and logical presentation of discussion
  • Discussion supported by relevant research
  • Proper use of citation style for bibliography (Chicago A)

Word limit: 1000 words

Value: 20% of total mark

Due Date: Week 6

Estimated return date: Week 7

Assessment Task 3

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 5

Artist portfolio and project proposal

Assignment guide will be made available via WATTLE in week 3. This assignment is a step-by-step exercise in what is required to compile and present an exhibition/project proposal. All material should be based on your own art practices. The project proposal and related documents are hypothetical, but should be based on research into actual examples, relevant to your interests.

Your assignment is required to include:


1. A current CV (max 1 page)

2. Artist statement (300 words max)

3. 6 images of recent work in required format (either digital images or a short show reel of no more than 2 minutes duration)

4. List of works in folio in gallery standard format


5. Exhibition/project proposal (max 1 A4 page)

6. Media Release (max 1 A4 page)

7. Publicity Plan (max 2 A4 pages)

8. Room Brochure or information flyer (max 1 page)

9. Itemised budget for project (max 2 A4 pages) 

Presentation requirements: Your assignment must be submitted via turnitin and the images/showreel submitted on usb directly to the course lecturer

Assessment Rubric: See below

Word limit: 2500 words (+/- 10%)

Value: 45% of total mark

Due date:

Return date:


CRITERIAFAIL (49% and below)PASS (50 - 59%)CREDIT (60 - 69%)DISTINCTION (70 - 79%)HIGH DISTINCTION (80 - 100%)

Images and captions

Total: 10%

LO 4

Insufficient number of images/duration of show reel

Image captions lack required information and formatting

Adequate number of images/duration of show reel provided

Caption information has been provided for images/show reel, but may be incomplete or incorrect formatted

Images/show reel consistently presented in the required format at correct size/resolution

Captions provide relevant information and the document clearly indicates which images relates to which caption

Images/show reel present a coherent impression of student work with attention to the quality of the photographic representation

Captions are consistently correctly formatted and provide all relevant information on the works represented in the images

Images and captions are presented to a professional standard, in the required format, showing the work to its best advantage

Artistic statement and project proposal

Total: 30%

LOs 3 & 4

Little evidence of understanding of the purpose of the statement and proposal

Statement does not articulate the nature of the student's practice

Proposal is incomplete and/or does not clearly outline the nature of the proposed work

Statement gives a basic outline of the student's work. May not always communicate ideas effectively

Proposal provides an outline of the work proposed and the nature of the venue/format the work will be shown in. May not always follow a logical structure or be clearly articulated

Statement articulates the nature of the student's practice and follows a logical structure

Proposal articulates the nature of the work proposed and is directed towards a relevant venue/format for presentation. Structure may sometimes be undeveloped

Statement clearly articulate the nature of the student's practice and supports descriptive language with reference to contextual/conceptual frameworks for the work

Proposal is complete, has a logical structure and is directed towards a relevant venue/format for the work to be exhibited

Statement provides an excellent articulation of the nature of the student's work, its theoretical and contextual framework

Proposal clearly and concisely outlines the nature of the work to be presented and the relevance of the format/framework for presentation

Promotional material:

Publicity Plan

Media Release

Information Brochure

Total: 35%

LOs 3, 4, & 5

Material presented is incomplete, contains numerous errors and/or stylist problems

Media release, publicity plan and information brochure have been submitted

Information within each document may be poorly organised, or incomplete

Content for media release, publicity plan and information brochure has been provided

Documents contain the relevant information but structure may sometimes be undeveloped. Some irrelevant information may be included

Content for media release, publicity plan and information brochure has been presented in a clear and concise manner

Documents are structured correctly and contain relevant information

The media release, publicity plan and information brochure contain well-constructed paragraphs and appropriate and clear transitions that allow the content to be articulately and coherently expressed

The format and style of the documents are consistent and present to a professional standard


Total: 15%

LOs 3 & 5

Budget is not complete/inadequate for proposed project

A basic budget is provided. Some elements may be missing or unrealistic

Realistic budget has been provided showing evidence costings have been researched

Realistic and detailed budget provided showing expenses and any opportunities for generating income

Budget shows evidence costs have been researched

Thorough budget has been presented providing details of costings, cost comparisons and projected income over the entire course of the project

Curriculum Vitae

Total: 10%

LO 4

CV is incomplete or missing from assignment

A basic CV has been provided

Material may not appear in logical order. There may be errors and stylistic inconsistencies

A basic CV has been provided with content listed in required order and well formatted

May contain irrelevant information and/or small mistakes

A thorough CV has been provided, formatted consistently with content in a logical order

CV is presented in a clear and readable format

A thorough CV has been provided that strategically presents relevant information to meet the student's specific aims

Overall presentation of CV is excellent and meets a professional standard

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Students must participate actively in the course through reading of assigned texts and participation in class discussion. Please note that participation includes regular reading specified in the weekly reading guide and contributing to tutorial discussions. Some of the weekly readings for Professional Practices will require students to source information on professional resources and opportunities to bring for class discussion. 

Value: 10% of total mark

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The tutorial presentation notes are to be submitted in hard- copy with the gallery audit forms within one week of the presentation. Submitted assignments must include the cover sheet provided on Wattle. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records.

The Background Research Assignment and Artist Portfolio and Project Proposal assignments are to be submitted online via Turnitin. Please keep a copy of everything you upload for your records.

Hardcopy Submission

Images or showreel for the Artist portfolio and project proposal must be submitted on usb or CD directly to the course lecturer.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.


Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Jennifer Robertson

Research Interests


Jennifer Robertson

Kate Murphy

Research Interests

Kate Murphy

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions