after a work party

Artery Cooperative
is a not-for-profit artist organisation dedicated to providing a professional work environment for contemporary visual artists in Melbourne. Artery has been in operation since 2001 and currently manages a large studio complex at 101-107 Helen Street, Northcote. These premises provide a range of independent studio spaces with access to shared resources including a well equipped workshop, communal kitchen and office facilities.

Currently all studios are occupied, however if you would like to join the waiting list please send us your request or visit the studios. Artery can be contacted by emailing

Artery’s structure
Artery operates as a non-trading cooperative under the rules set out by the Victorian Department of Justice, Office of Fair Trading. It currently has 19 members and a five-member Board of Directors consisting of a chairperson, treasurer, secretary and two non-executive directors. Half of the board retire annually, to ensure roles are rotated amongst the Cooperative membership.Artery provides its members with an opportunity to share in the equity of their work environment. Members own a share of the Cooperative which they purchase through lump-sum payment or incremental monthly fees. Member’s capital is used to fund the purchase of property and maintain an extensive selection of tools and equipment.Members administer and run Artery in an unpaid capacity. Artery’s accounts are managed independently by certified practicing accountants and the Cooperative employs a part-time bookkeeper to administer rental agreements and general expenditure. This model of cooperative studio management is unique within the local visual arts community, and marks Artery as an industry leader.
Artery’s core values
Alongside its shared resources and common spaces, Artery places much emphasis on the interaction and support it generates amongst its artists, and views this as an essential means to nurture strong artistic cultures. In line with these views, Artery actively promotes discussion amongst its members and tenants, providing a forum for the sharing of knowledge and skills. The Artery mission, vision and objective may be summarised as follows:Mission
To provide a safe and well-resourced working environment for artists that enables the exploration and exchange of ideas, knowledge and skill.Vision
To serve artists and the visual arts industry in Melbourne and Australia by developing a sustainable model of cooperative ownership that empowers artists and provides the best possible resources and creative work spaces.Objective
To gain long-term sustainability through the purchase of property and to use this capital investment to fulfil Artery’s mission to provide a well-resourced work environment for artists.

Artery’s History
Artery was established by a small group of newly graduated fine arts students from RMIT University. These artists were seeking greater control over their professional careers as practicing artists. A key concern was the establishment of a safe, secure and affordable studio space. While Melbourne is celebrated for its cultural activities, artists in Melbourne face a perennial struggle to find suitable, secure working environments. Redevelopment and rental increases regularly squeeze artists out of inner city neighbourhoods, places whose cultural vitality these artists have often helped to establish. As artists are forced further afield they struggle to maintain strong, close-knit communities and supportive, communal work environments.

The founders of Artery believed that this cycle of gentrification could only be broken if artists took control of their work environment through the purchase of property. Whilst trying to work out how to achieve this, Artery established itself in the then derelict Preston And Northcote Community Hospital (PANCH). In 2001 Artery registered as a non-trading cooperative, formalising the communal, not-for-profit structure that defines its actions. In 2006, after operating for a number of years at the PANCH site, Artery secured a commercial lease on two industrial buildings at 105-107 Helen Street Northcote and established 25 artist studios and workshop facilities. In 2009 Artery expanded its operations into the neighbouring factory at 101 Helen Street, bringing the total number of studios to 38.With 38 studios and approximately 60 artists operating across three premisses Artery was in a stable financial position and finally able to purchase property. In 2012, with help from Foresters Community Finance, Artery purchased the studio premisses at 101 Helen Street Northcote.

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