Melissa Loughnan is the founding director of Utopian Slumps, which operated as an art gallery in Melbourne, Australia from 2007 to 2014, and now exists as an art consulting agency. She has been working in the art industry for fifteen years and recently authored Australiana to Zeitgeist: An A to Z of Contemporary Australian Art, published by Thames & Hudson.
Melbourne's art scene is quite small, yet very rich and diverse. Melbourne is arguably Australia's cultural capital, and a number of Australian artists choose to forge their careers in this city. We're well known for our laneway culture, and many commercial galleries and artist-run initiatives are tucked away in our lanes, so getting to know the art scene here is a process of discovery. Our key institutions are the National Gallery of Victoria and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, and one of my favourite public galleries is the Heide Museum of Modern Art, tucked away in Bulleen, one of Melbourne's suburbs. Some of our best commercial and independent spaces have also started to move out of the city centre, including Neon Parc's new Brunswick space (pictured).
Having operated my own gallery in Melbourne and worked within the industry for many years I know the local art scene intimately, and am able to offer my clients an insider's perspective into its art world. My tours can provide an overview of Melbourne's art scene, for example an institutional space, commercial space, artist-run initiative and artist's studio. Alternatively we can zone in on one of these areas in more detail. My tours often include floor talks from artists, dealers and curators.