About the institute

Gallery interior

La Trobe Art Institute (LAI) seeks to position La Trobe University (LTU) as a significant cultural institution within the wider creative industries ecosystem. LAI is responsible for innovative research, curating, collecting, exhibiting and learning, through engagement with La Trobe University’s creative and academic communities.

All LAI programs are led by arts practice and cultural discourse, rather than curatorial proscription. Artworks are not illustrative elements in a curatorial narrative but are the principal creative components of program outcomes. Curatorial practice is a form onto itself but arts practice is never a subsidiary partner in the relationship. Our programming celebrates the intrinsic value of art and artefacts, whilst also understanding that art has the capacity to speak to all disciplines.  In addition to expanding community knowledge of art objects and processes, LAI also uses its exhibition program as a springboard for engagement with other fields of research. By leading collaborations with our academic peers, LAI encourages visual-learners from a broad field of interests to discover new approaches to their academic disciplines.


Public and educative programming is an integrated component of the exhibition schedule; LAI takes a holistic approach that seeks to embed a symbiotic suite of outputs necessary in the academic environment of a University.  As such, our education programs are designed to link with the Australian Curriculum Foundation to 10 and the Victorian Certificate of Education in a variety of disciplines. The Institute supports educators to embed creative and critical thinking strategies across the curriculum, embracing transdisciplinary approaches and assisting teachers to find inspiration from creative arts practice in their pedagogical approach. LAI values this connection to teachers and students of all ages and disciplines and sees all learners as potential La Trobe University students.


Learn more about our Exhibitions   and our Public events  and Educative programs and resources.

As custodian of the LTU Cultural Collections, LAI investigates traditional and innovative means of providing access to objects for exhibition, display, research, and learning. Each of the six collections - The La Trobe University Art Collection (including the Sculpture Park Collection), The Etta Hirsh Ceramics Collection, The Ethnographic Collection, The Trendall Collection, The Stewart E. Fraser Poster Collection and The F.M. Courtis Collection - are not only valuable, but also historically, aesthetically/artistically, pedagogically significant to both the University and wider communities.


Learn more about the Collections.

The LAI has a prominent exhibition and education facility in the Arts precinct of central Bendigo; a regional hub that engages communities throughout the central-north arts corridor of Victoria.  
Learn more about our facilities.