Grace McQuilten is a Lecturer in Art History and Theory, and Leader of the Contemporary Art and Social Transformation Research Group in the School of Art.
Grace is a published art historian, curator and artist with expertise in contemporary art and design, public art, social practice, social enterprise and community development.
Grace's new book, Art as Enterprise: Social and Economic Engagement in Contemporary Art is published by IB Tauris (UK) and is co-authored with Dr Anthony White. It considers new economic models for the arts in the context of social practice, creative industries and transformations in the public realm.
In 2011 she published Art in Consumer Culture with Ashgate Publishing, looking at the work of contemporary international artists engaging critically with design. Amanda Boetzkes, author of The Ethics of Art, provided the following endorsement of the book:
Art in Consumer Culture gets to the heart of the anxious dialogue between contemporary art and design. McQuilten's rigorous argumentation addresses the role of bodily desire, irrationality, and the disruption of function in practices of mis-design. Her nuanced analysis recovers a place for the criticality of art in the era of late capitalism.
Grace's research considers the social impact of art and its engagement with broader social and economic systems. She explores art's relationship to global development and the shifting relationship between public and private space in contemporary culture; how art mediates individual and collective experience in cities, and the way that artistic practice addresses the impact of industrialisation and globalisation in specific communities. She has a multidisciplinary approach that engages with a range of fields including art, design, architecture, sustainability, sociology, business and international development.
Grace is a Chief Investigator on the ARC Discovery Project 'The underworld: outsider artists and the reformulation of Australian art,' (2018-2020) and the ARC Discovery Project 'Art-based Social Enterprises and Marginalised Young Peoples Transitions,' (2017-2019). She has published numerous articles in refereed and unrefereed publications, published creative works in literary journals, authored exhibition catalogues and worked as an editor on local newspapers and engaged widely with local and national media. Grace is the founder of The Social Studio, a fashion and art based social enterprise working with young people from humanitarian migrant backgrounds in Melbourne; she is the Treasurer of the Art Association of Australia New Zealand and a Director on the Board of The Social Studio.
Modern and contemporary art, art history, intersection of art and design, art and community development, art and politics, social enterprise.
- Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours), University of Melbourne
- PhD Art History, University of Melbourne
- McQuilten, G. (2018). The work of art In: Art, Labour and Working Life Melbourne, Australia
- McQuilten, G. (2018). The market for applied arts and modern design In: Grove Art Online (Oxford Art Journal), , 1 - 7
- McQuilten, G. (2017). The political possibilities of art and fashion based social enterprise In: Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 31, 69 - 83
- McQuilten, G. (2017). Art as enterprise: conflict kitchen and return In: Transformations: Art and the City, Intellect, Bristok, United Kingdom
- McQuilten, G. (2017). The road taken In: Doctoral Research in Art, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, Australia
- McQuilten, G.,White, A. (2016). Art as enterprise: Social and economic engagement in contemporary art, I.B. Tauris, London, United Kingdom
- McQuilten, G.,White, A. (2016). Art as social enterprise In: Proceedings of the 2014 Re-structure Conference, LaTrobe University, Melbourne, 20 November 2014
- McQuilten, G. (2015). The Social Studio: Portraits by Morgan WS Brown In: The Social Studio: Portraits by Morgan WS Brown Melbourne, Australia
- McQuilten, G.,White, A. (2015). Impact and sustainability in art based social enterprises In: Research Unit in Public Cultures (RUPC) Working Papers Series, Melbourne, Australia, June 2015
- McQuilten, G. (2015). Art as enterprise In: Engaging Publics/Public Engagement, Auckland Art Gallery and AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand
5 PhD Current Supervisions
- The underworld: outsider artists and the reformulation of Australian art (administered by University of Melbourne). Funded by: ARC Discovery Project via Other University from (2018 to 2020)
- Bienal de la Habana - Intercambio - a conversation between two trains. Funded by: VicArts Grants 2018 from (2018 to 2019)
- How art-based social enterprise helps marginalised young people. Funded by: 010-ARC Discovery Projects 2017 from (2017 to 2020)