In 1995, the University of the Sunshine Coast purchased its first artwork establishing the beginnings of what would become the University of the Sunshine Coast Art Collection. This acquisition was Sower asking spirits to bless the seeds 1995 by Zimbabwean artist Nicholas Mukomberanwa (1940–2002) and was symbolic of the ambitions of the fledgling institution.
The purchase of art so early in our history also represents how art has been valued and woven into the fabric of UniSC from the beginning. From the commissioning of major outdoor artworks to the integration of existing holdings into new building projects, the presence of art across our network of campuses—from northern Brisbane to the Fraser Coast—has been a priority.
UniSC actively acquires for the collection. We have a strong commitment to collecting artworks by Australian artists that have been made within the lifetime of UniSC (1996 onwards), Queensland artists with a focus on works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and by artists who have a connection to UniSC and its regions.
At over 1000 works, our collection is the largest public collection of art on the Sunshine Coast and has been greatly enriched through the generosity of many individuals. Major donations and bequests have included the John Mainwaring Collection in 2012 and the Arija and Richard Austin Bequest in 2015.
Works are made available for loan to galleries and museums across Australia for exhibitions.
Access to our Collection
We are working towards enhancing online access to our collection for students, staff, researchers, gallery and museum professionals, writers, and our community.
For the moment you can enjoy a sample of works from our collection by following the links below.
John Mainwaring Collection
In 2012, John Mainwaring generously donated 81 artworks from his private collection to UniSC via the Cultural Gifts Program.
Arija and Richard Austin Bequest
In 2015, Arija Austin bequeathed the Austins’ personal art collection of over 200 works to UniSC.
Central and Western Desert Art
Since 2002, UniSC has acquired a large number of works from the Central and Western Desert regions of Australia.
Made within our lifetime
We prioritise collecting Australian art made within the lifetime of UniSC (from 1996 onwards).
Connected to our regions
UniSC is committed to acquiring works by recognised artists who have a connection to UniSC and our regions.