Firstdraft’s Exhibition Program is at the core of the organisation, presenting innovative new work by emerging artists, encouraging professionalisation and supporting experimental practice. All exhibitions are supported with a fully subsided gallery, an artist fee of $1000, promotion and professional documentation of their work, access to equipment and participation in monthly artist talks.
In addition to the Exhibition Program, Firstdraft’s Curators Program supports three emerging curators to develop innovative and experimental exhibitions that engage with emerging artists, art forms or ideas. This program is designed to create a platform for independent curatorial practice and publication. Participants receive a curatorial fee of $1500, artist fees to be distributed amongst participating artists, and two fully subsidised gallery spaces for a four-week exhibition.
Open to individuals and groups from across Australia and internationally, these programs are selected via twice-yearly callouts and programmed by the board. This short-lead approach supports artists in the early years of their practice, allowing them to explore and present ideas quickly. It also enables the organisation to respond to changes in the artistic landscape.
In 2019, Firstdraft launched its First Nations Curator Program, an identified position within the curators program which supports an early-career Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander practitioner.
Jos Charles, Brian Fuata, Anna McMahon, Spence Messih, Real Madrid, Vincent Silk, Ainslie Templeton
Curated by Naomi Segal with Joy Li, Nolan Ho Wung Murphy, NC Qin, Marisa Suen, Zoe Wong & Connor Xia
Curated by Nikita Holcombe with Kirra Weingarth, Stella Chen, Carmen Glynn-Braun, Dennis Golding & Linda Sok
Dominic Byrne, Leila El Rayes, Hana Hoogedeure, Kristina Savic & Matthew Varnay
Emma Buswell & Jess Day
Curated by astute art investments international (AAII)
with Kieron Broadhurst, Michelle Proksell 媚潇 & Gabriele de Seta, Song Xi 宋兮 & Yang Xinjia 杨欣嘉, Giselle Stanborough and Ying Miao苗颖
Curated by Justin Shoulder
Curated by Liquid Architecture - Joel Stern, Danni Zuvela and Kusum Normoyle