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Artists Studio Program: applications now closed

Exterior view of an old mansion.

At the ordinary meeting of Council held on 17 August 2021 Council endorsed the recommendation of the Bayside Arts & Gallery Advisory Committee to relaunch the Billilla Artists Studio Program for 2022 while Council considers possible options for the mansion and its future use. 

Applications closed 27 September 2021.

Find out about

About the program

The Billilla Artists Studio program offers free studio space for 12 months to artists from across Victoria and Bayside. The program supports artists from diverse practices and across career stages. Located in Brighton, the program provides an opportunity for artists to connect with local communities through public programs as well as develop their practice without the financial pressure of paying studio rent.

The vision of the Bayside Arts Strategic Plan 2018-2022 is for Bayside City Council to offer inspiring, creative, artistic and cultural experiences for its community and visitors to enjoy. The Billilla Artists Studio Program supports Council’s strategic vision to:

  • Deliver an innovative creative program
  • Support people to develop their creative pursuits

Council is now seeking high quality applications from people active in the arts sector, including artists, writers, composers, filmmakers, sculptors, performers, designers etc. Seven servant quarters at the rear of the historical Billilla Mansion have been converted into basic studios with access from 8am to 10pm seven days a week from 1 January to 31 December 2022.

Billilla studio spaces

The studios are all part of a heritage building and although refitted as workspaces there is no heating/air-conditioning and there is limited insulation against heat and cold; all studios have power and lighting. There is a portable wireless device situated in the old kitchen at the rear of the mansion which is accessible to all Billilla Studio artists but there is no WIFI access in the studios. Some of the studios take their name from prominent artists who lived and worked in the Bayside area.

The gardens surrounding the mansion are open to the public and the mansion is currently leased to a small private school.

Beckett Studio (named after tonalist painter, Clarice Beckett)

This studio consists of 3 small adjoining rooms. The space measures 9m x 2.5m and includes a sink and running water. Suitable for painters working on a small to medium scale.

Grainger Studio (named after composer and artist, Percy Grainger)

Dimensions 3.5 m x 3.5 m and includes a sink and running water. Suitable for composers and musicians and most types of practices excluding large scale work.

Marshall Studio (named after writer, Alan Marshall)

Dimensions 3.5 m x 3.5m. Most suited to writers and/or playwrights as has no running water or sink.

Laundry Studio

This studio is located within the footprint of the Mansion and includes permanent fixtures and equipment from the days of its original use. This studio measures 5m x 4m and has a sink and running water. Suitable for most types of practices excluding large scale work.

Parr Studio (named after sculptor, Lenton Parr)

Dimensions 5.3m x 5.4m and includes use of the fenced yard making it suitable for large scale work. There is a sink and running water. Hot work is not permitted on site.

Tayler Studio (named after architect, Lloyd Tayler)

Dimensions 5.2m x 3.7 m including a small storage area. Located in a standalone building, has a sink and running water. Limited natural light but suitable for most practices including larger scale works.

Traill Studios (named after artist, Jessie Traill)

This studio is attached to the mansion and is located upstairs on the first floor, it measures 5m x 4m.  There is no sink and running water in the studio and access is through the kitchen area which is a common space on the ground floor.

Qualifying requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements before being eligible to be considered for a studio:

  • Tertiary qualification in their related practice/field;
  • Currently active in the arts sector [i.e. your CV must display evidence of the currency of your practice, for example, recent exhibitions, performances, published writing etc.];
  • Art form is suitable for the studio placement;
  • A commitment to engaging in a public program or community engagement activity during the year. As part of the application process you will be required to submit your idea for a public program or community engagement activity. Previous artists have delivered workshops, talks, studio visits (including talks to students), concerts etc.

Assessment criteria

If eligible, applications will be considered against the following assessment criteria:

  • Quality of the artist’s practice  ability to stimulate and engage; demonstrate a creative approach and high level of technical competency;
  • Use of the studio space – it is important for Council that the spaces are used on a regular basis;
  • Public engagement proposal – quality of the activity/program being offered and consideration of your audience in relation to your practice. The Education and Community Engagement Officer, Arts and Culture, will support the delivery of the public program/activity.

Bayside Local

  • A minimum of 3 studio spaces have been set aside for Bayside residents who meet the qualification requirements. Scores against the assessment criteria will determine the allocation of these spaces to local artists.

To apply

Applicants are asked to complete all sections of the form and where indicated present additional information as requested.

Non-complying and incomplete applications will be rejected. Applications will be evaluated against the Assessment Criteria and assessed by Council officers using a point scoring system based on: 

  • Evidence of quality of artistic practice
  • Overall expected benefits for the community through public engagement
  • Alignment with Bayside Arts Strategic Plan 2018-2022
  • Ability to increase activation of the studio space 

Applications will be assessed for eligibility by the Arts Administration Officer. If eligible, applications will be assessed by the Curator/Team Leader Bayside Gallery and Education and Community Engagement Officer against the criteria and a short-list of 7 artists will be referred to the Arts and Culture Coordinator.

The Arts and Culture Coordinator will recommend the seven Billilla Studio artists to be approved by the Bayside Arts & Gallery Advisory Committee.

All applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application.

Successful applicants will be invited to the Bayside Gallery to celebrate their success at an appropriate event.

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