First Nations Visual Arts Scholarship

First Nations Visual Arts Scholarship

Delivered in partnership with the Byron School of Art (BSA), the First Nations Visual Arts Scholarship sponsors a First Nations artist to participate in a year-long Visual Arts Foundation Course. Designed to provide an extensive grounding in the Visual Arts, students gain knowledge, skills and experience needed to form an integrated understanding of contemporary visual arts ideas and practices. 

Attuned to the needs of individual students, the course is suitable to both emerging artists who wish to establish their practice and established artists who wish to refine or expand. The structured studio program incorporates approaches to a number of disciplines including drawing, painting, printmaking, 3D studies, installation practice, digital media, design principles, colour theory, art history and critical thinking.  

The inaugural Recipient Belle Budden is a practising multi-disciplinary artist working with diverse forms to express and maintain her cultural identity and reflect issues of contemporary Aboriginal culture and politics. Belle works with visual arts mediums including paint, printmaking, ceramics, multimedia and is also passionate about dance as a form of cultural expression.

Arts Northern Rivers Indigenous Arts Officer, Kylie Caldwell, said:

“Arts Northern Rivers is proud to initiate this Scholarship in support of the thriving culture of the Bundjalung Nation across the region. An education rich in creative arts maximises opportunities for artists to engage with explorative practice and various visual arts approaches.”

Since BSA’s establishment in 2013, the school has become internationally recognised for it’s model of artists teaching artists, providing practical pathways to meet the individual needs of both emerging and established artists. One of the Founding Directors, Michael Cusack, said:

“The Byron School of Art warmly welcomes this remarkable partnership with Arts Northern Rivers. The course provides hands on experiences in foundational arts training creating further pathways for emerging or established artists seeking to initiate or expand their creative ability.”

This scholarship will be supported by Arts Northern Rivers Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS) funding as well as the Arts Northern Rivers Gift Fund. All donations to the Gift Fund over $2 are tax deductible and are welcomed to ensure the ongoing success of the Scholarship. For donations email

Applications for the 2022 Scholarship have now closed. 

For more information on Byron School of Art visit

This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.