Art Gallery of NSW:


An education initiative providing access to the Gallery’s collection, exhibitions and programs for young people studying secondary visual arts in Years 10 to 12 – and their teachers – from schools in NSW which are classified as geographically, socio-economically or culturally disadvantaged.


Many secondary visual arts students in Greater Sydney and beyond are disadvantaged by limited access to the Gallery’s collection, exhibitions and programs. This initiative seeks to redress that inequity by facilitating a structured and relevant engagement and resources for students who would otherwise have limited opportunity.



  • Facilitating structured yet informal student access to and experience with practicing artists, works of art and art making processes, the wider art world and the Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, programs and resources.
  • Supporting professional development of Visual Arts teachers working in challenging educational conditions through programs and resources with which they are otherwise unable to engage.
  • Presenting the arts as a viable career path for the future.
  • Researching and promoting Artside-In’s outcomes as a viable and sustainable model for other educational and visual arts organisations.


More than 1000 students and 100 teachers have participated in the three-stage program since its establishment with funding assistance from Caledonia Foundation in 2003.


  • Artside-In Online developed with Artside-In Mentorship students, offering a record of the stages of the program and its participants. Also includes a mini-documentary on the Mentorship experience and PowerPoint presentation by each year’s Mentorship group, as well as testimonials by students, teachers, artists and Gallery staff who have participated in the program.
  • ArtSIDE-in Moree DVD and article in Artreach, Spring 2007, The Regional Arts NSW magazine, p14-15; the program moves beyond its physical site, into regional New South Wales. Soon to be available on ArtSIDE-In Online
  • Profile on NSW Department of Education’s Priority Schools Funding (PSFP) website as a key project in NSW working with disadvantaged students. Visit Website


Measuring the impact of arts-related initiatives can be difficult. By offering students access to relevant, broader and more diverse visual arts experiences and opportunities beyond their local communities Artside-In, aims to enhance immediate education outcomes (Visual Arts Syllabus as well as critical, analytical and practical art-making skills), vocational outcomes (understanding of arts careers and pathways) and social outcomes (communication and interpersonal skills, self-confidence and a greater awareness and tolerance for the value of alternate and opposing ideas and points of view).

In particular, it is hoped that this initial positive and empowering outreach experience will lead to a sustained, life-long engagement with the visual arts and galleries. This kind of impact is almost impossible to track longitudinally, however the Art Gallery of New South Wales continues to conduct formal and informal evaluations at each stage of the program with both students and teachers, and six months after its completion, including questionnaires and interviews in order to articulate tangible outcomes and gauge less tangible impacts, as far as is possible.

Impacts have included:

  • A shift in perception and awareness of the role and function of the Gallery, artists and understandings of the NSW Visual Arts syllabus for students and teachers.
  • An increase in Visual Arts examination results in both written and art making across participating schools.
  • Students re-focusing toward Tertiary studies in the visual and creative arts.
  • Past ArtSIDE-In students returning to participate in the program as speakers.
  • An enhancement of the profile of Visual Arts within the culture of participating schools with students, teachers, parents and the school’s executive including the Principal.
  • The development of relationships between teachers, students and their schools with professional artists and other artworlld professionals which have been maintained beyond the program in the school environment.
  • An increased rapport between teachers and students participating in the program that continues back into the classroom; An increase in morale, motivation and professional practice from participating teachers.
  • Increased profile of students and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds and their needs within the Gallery, including staff from outside the Public Programs Department
  • Youth as a valid and important audience has been brought forward as part of the Gallery’s wider agenda with research undertaken through an Art Gallery Society Research Scholarship - a direct result of the profile and success of the program.
  • The professional development of key members of Gallery staff both inside and outside the Public Programs department in working with youth audiences.

Partner Statement – Tristan Sharp, Education Manager, Art Gallery of New South Wales

“Support from The Caledonia Foundation has been crucial to the success of ArtSIDE-In. It is an unfortunate reality in a public institution like the Art Gallery of New South Wales that mainstream education programs receives no funding from Government let alone programs such as ArtSIDE-in for a specific audience such as disadvantaged youth. It is this audience though that we should work with most readily and most closely. It is this is the audience that has so much to say and share and we need to listen.

ArtSIDE-In not only introduces young people to the Gallery and all it has to offer, it also introduces the Gallery to everything they have to offer. The Gallery has learnt a lot about itself, its collections, its role and function, through the eyes, experiences and unique point of view ArtSIDE-In participants bring.

The Caledonia Foundation has been the catalyst for this process to begin and grow within the culture of the Gallery, and has supported the young people in the program to do the same.”

- Tristan Sharp, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney.

Links to further web resources: