Launched in 2012, the Breaking Ground award provides a regional South Australian visual artist with a unique opportunity to develop their skills and broaden their professional experience. The winner will receive $10,000 to develop a body of work for a solo exhibition to be held at a venue in the Adelaide CBD in conjunction with the SALA Festival. An additional $5,000 mentorship opportunity will be part of the prize.

From 2017, the Breaking Ground Award will form part of a larger professional development program and as such, will be awarded on a biennial basis. The larger program aims to support a greater number of regional artists, by offering a biennial Professional Development Road Trip, in complementing years.

Applications for the Breaking Ground Award will open in 2018

The Professional Development Road Trip will see 8 regional artists spend three days in Adelaide during SALA Festival. Participants will have the opportunity to experience the Festival, as well as workshops, tours and other activities. One key benefit to this program will be the opportunity to meet and speak with fellow regional artists from across the state.

The Road Trip will include workshops and visits specifically aimed at preparing the participants for a Breaking Ground application – writing workshops, conceptual discussions, future planning. This will allow artists to focus their applications, and better prepare them for a successful application to the Breaking Ground Award. These learning experiences will also strengthen applications for other programs.

For more information on the Road Trip and to register, please click here.

For more information regarding these changes please contact your local Cultural Development Officer or Visual Arts Coordinator, Eleanor Scicchitano [email protected]

The winner of the 2017 Breaking Ground Award is regional artist Chris de Rosa. 


If you weren’t able to make it to Adelaide to see Cindy’s exhibition, you can experience what it was like to walk through the gallery below.


Artspace Gallery Walkthrough – Breaking Ground 2016 from Country Arts SA on Vimeo.

Layers was presented by Country Arts SA, Artspace Gallery, SALA Festival and ABC Local Radio as part of the Country Arts SA 2016 Breaking Ground Professional Development Award.