Guess Who’s Going to the Gallery: NSW state report


Undertaken with funding from the Australia Council for the Arts, Guess Who’s Going to the Gallery? is a comprehensive benchmarking study of audiences in public and regional galleries in NSW. It collates over 7,000 responses from 41 organisations and has three major reports: The NSW State Report (2011) The Sydney Metro Report (2010) and the Hunter/ Western Sydney Report (2008).

The data was collected between 2007 and 2010. A random sample was taken at each participating institution with participants, aged 15+ self-completing a paper based survey at the end of their visit. It excludes school groups.

It provides data on gender, age, education, income, tourist status, motivators, who they come with, frequency of visitation, audience experiences and satisfaction levels. The published data does not identify any institution nor does it provided data on levels of visitation. Where relevant the data is compared to the ABS 2006 Census data.

The NSW state report

The NSW report collates the data of the three years of the study. It contains a standardised average index for the state as well as a standardised average Regional Index and Greater Sydney Metro Index. It also provides indexes for NSW regional areas of North Coast, Hunter and Northern NSW, Central NSW and Southern NSW.

The research reveals that if you have 10 people standing in front of an artwork in a public gallery, it is likely that:

  • At least one will speak a language other than English at home
  • At least two will be tourists
  • Two will be under 35 and at least three aged between 35-54
  • Four will be from a household earning less than $40,000 and only two of them will be from a household earning more than $80,000
  • At least five will live within the gallery’s local government area
  • At least five will work (full or part time) and two will be retired
  • Two will have finished secondary level schooling
  • Two will have a post graduate degree
  • Five will have been to that gallery more than four times in the past two years, but for three of them, it will be their first visit
  • Two will have come with their partner, three by themselves, with the others coming with family and/or friends
  • Almost all of them will have rated their visit as ‘good’ or ‘terrific’.