KickArts Contemporary Arts was founded in 1992 by artist Garry Andrews with the support of an artists' collective in Cairns. It was originally called Kick Arts Collective Inc., a name coined by Garry Andrews. After presenting regular exhibitions in the available venues of tropical north Queensland, KickArts established a permanent home at the Cairns Centre of Contemporary Arts in 2004, co-locating here with JUTE theatre Company. This era saw KickArts change its status from an artists' collective to a company limited by guarantee.
KickArts is now the leading contemporary visual arts organisation in regional Queensland and the most innovative in the state. Based in Cairns with a demographic encompassing Far North Queensland and extending into the remote and regional communities of Cape York and Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait), KickArts is dedicated to facilitating and promoting the contemporary arts and extending the experience and cultural life of northern Australians and more than 2 million annual visitors who come to Cairns.
Located in the central business district of Cairns, in the Centre of Contemporary Arts, KickArts is a key destination for local and tourist visitors alike who wish to experience the vibrant contemporary visual culture of Tropical North Queensland. Delivering a dynamic and diverse exhibition program, KickArts welcomes more than 34,000 visitors annually. The KickArts Shop animates the Centre on a daily basis and is a focal point for viewing unique, high quality works of art, craft and design from Australian and international artists.
Entry to the galleries and shop is free.
KickArts activities extend across:
- Presenting cutting-edge contemporary visual art from our region, nationally and from abroad
- Offering community events including artist talks, community workshops and performances
- Curating exhibitions that tour Queensland and Australia
- Providing educational visits and workshops for school and university students from our region
- Developing Djumbunji Press, the KickArts Fine Art Printmaking studio
- Managing Artist in Residence programs and an artist studio space to provide professional development opportunities for local, national and international artists
- Providing retail and merchandising opportunities for artists and designers through the KickArts Shop
- Offering outreach programs to take printmaking skills to remote communities and art centres around northern Queensland
- Developing the KickArts Permanent Collection.
KickArts is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee with a Board of Directors responsible for the strategic direction and financial management of the company along with a team of professional staff. The Board and staff together have led the company from strength to strength.
KickArts acknowledges financial support from Arts Queensland and the Australia Council for the Arts through the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, as well the support of our artist members and our many Sponsors and Patrons. This fantastic support enables our ever-expanding creative contemporary art program to thrive. KickArts also enjoys the collective support of many generous volunteers and we would not be where we are today without them.
KickArts raises over 60% of its revenue through commercial activities, sponsorship and donations — providing substantial and essential funding for our creative program and helping us to extend the understanding and appreciation of contemporary culture in our region.
KickArts would like to thank all those who come together to make our organisation the leading contemporary visual art organisation in Far North Queensland.