Studio A is a supported studio based in Sydney Australia that tackles the barriers that artists living with intellectual disability face in accessing conventional education, professional development pathways and opportunities needed to be successful and renowned visual artists. The enterprise paves professional pathways for such artists so that they can achieve their artistic and economic aspirations. Studio A provides its artists with a working studio space equipped with specialist materials and support-staff. It also manages an annual exhibition program and facilitates weekly workshops provided by invited contemporary artists. Studio A supports a variety of artists working within a range of disciplines and thus strategically links Studio A artwork with an equally diverse range of target markets including art, design, craft, and corporate markets. The Studio A program is structured to operate as a social enterprise, meaning revenue derived from the program’s activities is invested back into the program to increase its artistic and social outcomes. Income derived from the sale and exhibition of artwork directly benefits the artist.
Studio A contributes to various personal outcomes for the artists including increased self esteem, increased aspirations for the future, broader social networks and a sense of belonging, increased financial security and improved mental health. More broadly, within the community Studio A reduces stigma associated with people with disability and increases diversity and inclusion. Studio A offers the mainstream arts sector access to new artists and new opportunities for unique collaborations.