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Inkmasters Cairns


Inkmasters Cairns Inc. was founded in 2011 to further the interests of its members and the discipline of printmaking through mounting regular exhibitions and participating in national and international print exchanges.

Cairns is a city of excellence in printmaking. In the last decade, a proliferation of printmakers and print studios across the region has reached critical mass, to the point that contemporary printmaking in the region can now be called a movement.

The Projects and Programs Fund investment supported Inkmasters to fill a part-time position to assist with the development and presentation of the second biennial Inkfest in 2014. Inkfest is a festival of arts in the print media and culminates in the display of selected works from regional, national and international printmakers in Inkmasters Print Exhibition.

This year Inkmasters worked collaboratively with Cairns’ organisations, event partners, professional artists, primary and secondary schools, higher learning institutions and the larger community to bring the Inkfest experience to fruition.


March – August 2014   



Key stats

  • Inkfest featured 24 unique activities and sold over $10,000 in work
  • 6336 people attended Inkfest events
  • 288 people participated directly in Inkfest workshops and events 

Arts Queensland contribution

$50,000 – Projects and Programs Fund 


  • Professional development opportunities through workshops and artist in residence programs exposed participants to a range of printmaking techniques as well as open studio access. All 24 artists participating in the Inkmasters six regular workshops produced new work and expanded on their current repertoire of skills. 
  • The events and activities offered at Inkfest were well attended, evidencing there is local demand for the offer from Inkmasters. All participants rated the workshop activity presented by Inkmasters as good or excellent. 
  • The Project Co-ordinator assisted in raising the profile of Inkmasters and printmaking as a platform within the Queensland arts community by working collaboratively with a broad range of organisations and partners. The BIG PRINT community arts event at the Tanks Artspace included preliminary workshops with children, youth and students from James Cook University. Inkfest partnered with the Cairns Wanderers Rugby Union team using their scrum machine as a printing press to edition six giant prints.
  • Two further events have grown out of Inkfest – MERGE, a collaborative exchange with Griffith University and Thinking of Place, a collaborative exhibition exchange with printmaking groups in Goldfields, Melbourne, Auckland and Christchurch. These are a direct result of new communications opened up by Inkfest. With a Project Co-ordinator in place Inkmasters has been able to continue to develop these types of activity. 

Learnings and reflections

The second biennial Inkfest was a multi-faceted and multi-events project that highlighted the diversity and excellence in contemporary printmaking in Far North Queensland. The employment of the Project Coordinator proved invaluable. 

For a volunteer organisation, employing one primary person to oversee and organise the extensive programs and individual projects of the festival of this size was an invaluable investment. Working in consultation with the committee, the Project coordinator allowed all activities and events to run smoothly and without the burden of the program being shouldered by volunteers alone. 

Inkfest had the following reflections on what worked well in the project and what they would look at for the next event.

Developing a detailed timeline, keeping accurate financial records and accurate event records were three important factors in the successful outcome of the project. As each individual event within the larger project wrapped up, summarising and finalising that particular part meant that the information remained stored and could be drawn upon periodically. This was particularly crucial in a multi faced, multi event project.

All members of an organisation have skills to contribute to the project at hand; however, it is sometimes hard to know who is willing to supply their talents to the task. A survey of members would assist the coordinator to assign tasks for the smooth running of the programs.

Contact for further information


Phone: 0438 535 957 


A pdf version of this case study (PDF) (275.5 KB) is available.