FELTspace is celebrating 10 years of operation this year and for any artist run initiative that’s quite a feat.
Established in 2008 at the central location of 12 Compton Street in Adelaide’s CBD, FELTspace quickly established itself as a centre for the emerging contemporary visual arts community.
The ethos of FELTspace is the same today as when it formed 10 years ago, which is a focus on promoting emerging and early career artists, with opportunities for more established artists to show in a non-commercial and non-institutional space. While this has remained constant, some aspects of the initiative have evolved.
“The premise has evolved to keep pushing the public engagement and the extended programs like FELTnatural and FELTdark,” says social media and marketing co-ordinator Kate Kurucz. “We have embraced new media and more accessible ways of showing art.”
Last year, FELTspace introduced an artist mentorship program and this year Guildhouse has come on board as a partner. The idea is that a student from each of the three major art schools – Adelaide Central School of Art, Adelaide College of the Arts TAFE SA, and the University of South Australia – is selected and given the opportunity to exhibit at FELTspace the following year during SALA. They are mentored through exhibition logistics and marketing and work one-on-one with industry leaders’ best suited to their individual practices.
The mentorship is an exciting development for FELTspace, providing an opportunity to support emerging artists and help them develop the necessary skills to establish a career as a visual artist.
The 10th anniversary celebrations include an exhibition titled Director’s Cut featuring Roy Ananda, Kate Power, Louise Haselton, Heidi Kenyon and Matt Bradley. Previous co-directors were asked to rate the exhibitions over the last 10 years and the answers were used to select this interesting, powerful mix of artists.
There will also be a street party on Friday, April 20 called Double Digits, which will include a performance from King Trampoline.
“Director’s Cut reflects the way we feel about FELTspace, which is that it’s a breeding ground for young artists who go on to do incredible things,” says Kurucz. “These artists go on to things like the Biennial and lecturing and international exhibitions and residencies. It shows how strong and how well supported the program is.”
Part of the success of FELTspace has been its focus on public programs and it’s something that will continue in the future. “We will look at more public programs and more cross engagement with other artist-run institutions,” Kurucz says
FELTspace has proven that some smart decision-making at the beginning has led to its longevity, as many artist-run institutions don’t last a decade. These decisions include: its central location, a continued interest in public engagement and an emphasis on critical discussion. However, at the centre of it all are the artists and exhibitions which have pushed the boundaries of contemporary art.
10 years of FELTspace
Roy Ananda, Matthew Bradley, Louise Haselton, Heidi Kenyon, Kate Power
Wednesday, April 4 to Saturday, April 21
Street Party: Double Digits
Featuring: Team Trampoline | JEM
Friday, April 20
12 Compton Street