USC Art Collection - Operational Policy | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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USC Art Collection - Operational Policy

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Approval authority
Vice-Chancellor and President
Responsible Executive member
Vice-Chancellor and President
Designated officer
Manager, Art Gallery
First approved
9 December 2008
Last amended
2 May 2019
Review date
4 December 2022
Related documents
Linked documents
Superseded documents
  • Artworks Acquisition and Deaccessioning - Managerial Policy
Related legislation / standards
  • Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)

1. Purpose of policy

This policy provides a framework for the University of the Sunshine Coast to build a significant collection of contemporary Australian art. It articulates key acquisition areas for the USC Art Collection and intrinsic management functions.

2. Policy scope and application

2.1 The Policy applies to the University of the Sunshine Coast Art Collection.

2.2 The Policy applies to all University staff with responsibilities for functions of the Art Collection.

2.3 Art acquisition includes the collection of works through purchase, commission, gift or donation, and loaned items.

3. Definitions

Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to this policy and are critical to its effectiveness:

Acquisition refers to taking legal possession and ownership of an artwork through purchase, gift, bequest, commission, donation, transfer or exchange.

Art Collection/Collection refers to the recognised holdings of artworks acquired by the University officially known as the USC Art Collection.

Artwork/s refers to all cultural material including but not limited to paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, artists’ books, artefacts, video art and installation art.

Deaccession is the process of de-registering an accessioned object from a collection and amending the documentation relating to that object.

Disposal is the physical removal of an object from an organisation by a process decided upon by the collections or acquisitions committee.

Loan is a temporary physical transfer of an artwork from the Art Collection to a public institution such as an art gallery or museum over a specified period of time and where there is no transfer of ownership.

Provenance is the place or origin; the history of ownership of an object, especially the records and documents authenticating such and object or its history of ownership.

4. USC Art Collection aims

4.1 To develop a visual art collection of regional and national significance and repute that celebrates and enriches the teaching, learning, research and engagement priorities and aims of the University.

4.2 To collect artworks that demonstrate excellence and diversity in contemporary Australian art practice with an emphasis on artworks made within the lifetime of the University by significant: Queensland artists; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists; artists from or living in the region; and artists that have a strong connection to USC.

5. Criteria for acquisition

5.1 USC collects works of art by purchase, commission, gift or donation and development of the Collection prioritises the following criteria for acquisition:

5.1.1 Australian art made within the lifetime of USC (from 1996 onwards);

5.1.2 Artworks by significant artists from Queensland with a focus on works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists;

5.1.3 Artworks that are innovative and/or reflect current social, political, cultural or environmental themes;

5.1.4 Artworks by significant artists that have a strong connection to USC and/or its regions;

5.1.5 Artworks that strengthen and augment existing Collection holdings;

5.1.6 Artworks suitable for the display and storage conditions of sites within the University’s buildings and grounds.

5.2 Donations/gifts

5.2.1 The University encourages donations/gifts to the Collection, provided the donations/gifts meet the Collection’s criteria for acquisition.

5.2.2 Donations/gifts to the University will follow the related acquisition procedures.

5.2.3 Donations/gifts will only be accepted where the donor has clear legal title to the work and the gift is made on the basis of a total transfer of legal title from the donor to the University.

5.2.4 The University will observe the regulations and procedures of the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program when considering the acquisition of works through this Program.

5.2.5 Long term loans to the Art Collection will only be accepted on the understanding the artwork/s will eventually be donated to the University. Parameters of this donation will be outlined before commencement of the loan.

6. Collection management

6.1 Reporting and management

6.1.1 As a significant University asset, the USC Art Collection should be maintained and displayed in accordance with accepted international museum standards for the conservation, safe storage, exhibition, transport, record-keeping and handling of a collection, and exercise all efforts to preserve, protect and maintain it.

6.1.2 The Director, Office of Engagement in consultation with the Manager, USC Art Gallery will be responsible for the overall management of the USC Art Collection.

6.1.3 Commissioning of artworks for the USC Art Collection will be undertaken by the Vice-Chancellor Art Advisory Committee (VCAAC) in accordance with the Collection’s criteria for acquisition. A sub-committee reporting to the VCAAC may be established for the purpose of commissioning artworks, including site-specific artworks.

6.1.4 Artworks that are not accessioned into the USC Art Collection but are owned by individual schools, faculties or divisions of the University are assets of the University. The school, faculty or division that owns the artwork/s will be responsible for good management of the artwork/s and for maintaining adequate records.

6.2 Loans and display

6.2.1 The USC Art Collection is a significant public collection—regionally and nationally—and as such, the University strives to make it accessible for the teaching, learning, research and engagement priorities of the University.

6.2.2 Artworks from the USC Art Collection will be made available for temporary loan to public institutions for the purpose of exhibition on approval from the Manager, USC Art Gallery and subject to the borrower’s agreement to the conditions of loan stipulated in USC’s outgoing loan agreement for an artwork.

6.2.3 Artworks from the USC Art Collection will be made available for display in public areas and offices of senior staff of the University across its network of campuses.

7. Deaccessioning and disposal

7.1 Periodic review will be made of the Art Collection to determine the condition of works and their relevance to the USC Art Collection and Managerial Policy.

7.2 Funds or compensation derived from the disposal of artworks will be solely used to benefit the USC Art Collection, usually for acquisitions or as directed by the Vice-Chancellor and President.

7.3 Deaccessioning and disposal of artworks donated to the USC Art Collection under the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program will adhere to regulations and procedures outlined by the Cultural Gifts Program.

8. Authorities/Responsibilities

The following authorities/responsibilities are delegated under this policy:


University Officer/Committee

Considerations and recommendations on all art acquisitions including gifts and bequests and deaccessioning and disposal will be made by the Vice-Chancellor’s Art Advisory Committee.

Vice-Chancellor and President

Approve the temporary loan of artworks from the USC Art Collection to public institutions

Manager, USC Art Gallery

Notification of the valuation and acknowledgement of donated artworks to the Director, Advancement Office.

Manager, USC Art Gallery

Processing of acquisitions through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.

Manager, USC Art Gallery

Planning and acquisition of site-specific artworks to be installed through the University’s capital works program.

Manager, USC Art Gallery in association with the building committee.


Appendix A - Vice-Chancellor’s Art Advisory Committee (VCAAC) – Terms of Reference


The University of the Sunshine Coast Vice-Chancellor’s Art Advisory Committee (Art Advisory Committee, Committee, or VCAAC) is an advisory committee to the Vice-Chancellor and the President. The role of the Art Advisory Committee is to provide expert, balanced and diverse opinion in the implementation of the University’s Art Collection Policy, and advice on the incorporation of art into the University’s public spaces.

Terms of reference
  • To make recommendations that assist the University in meeting objectives of its Art Collection Policy including advice on:
    • Selection, commissioning and purchase of new artworks;
    • Proposed artwork gifts, bequests and donations;
    • Deaccessioning of works from the Art Collection.
  • To advise on the exhibition and management of artworks within University buildings and grounds.
  • To provide advice on the strategic focus, development and establishment of:
    • Exciting arts spaces at USC that are vibrant, accessible and inclusive;
    • Integrating arts learning into all programs;
    • And positioning USC as the leader among regional university art galleries/museums.

The Art Advisory Committee is comprised of ten (10) members:

  • Chairperson
  • Manager, USC Art Gallery (ex officio)
  • Academic representatives nominated by DVC Academic (ex officio, 2 positions)
  • Director, Facilities Management (ex officio)
  • Director, Advancement Office (ex officio)
  • Director, Community Engagement (ex officio)
  • Community members (3 positions)

The Art Advisory Committee may invite external experts to attend specific meetings, or invite observers as deemed appropriate by the Committee.

The Art Advisory Committee may also co-opt members of the Committee as part of working parties or sub-committees, to assist the Art Advisory Committee in its deliberations or undertake nominated tasks.

Community membership appointments will be based on experience and expertise in visual and/or public art (e.g. Professional artists, curators and administrators, architects, urban designers) and seek to include diversity in age, gender, cultural background, and/or physical disability.

The Art Advisory Committee will have a member who identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.

Membership to the Art Advisory Committee is an honorary appointment, however the University will cover or reimburse the travel costs of members to attend meetings as necessary.


A member of the University’s Council or person of great experience and standing in the creative industries.

Term of office

Members of the Art Advisory Committee (other than ex officio members) shall serve for terms of up to two (2) years, concluding on the 30 June of the relevant anniversary year.


Quorum of the Committee is five (5).

Frequency of meetings

The Art Advisory Committee will meet at least two times per year.

Declarations of interest

Members must act in the best interests of the University and declare any conflict of interest when a matter is being considered or voted on by the Committee. Conflict of interest may be of a pecuniary or non-pecuniary nature.

Terms of Reference Approved 29 April 2019

END of Appendix A