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Welcome to The Art Room (TAR), your sanctuary for growth and exploration!

At TAR, we’re not just an art school – we’re a community driven by passion and dedication. Founded and run by artists, our mission is clear: to empower students like you to achieve your personal and professional aspirations through a holistic and unique learning experience.

Whether you’re just starting out on your artistic journey or already seasoned in your craft, TAR welcomes students from all backgrounds and levels of experience. Our goal is to not only refine your technical and conceptual skills, but also to provide you with the support, resources, and connections you need to thrive as an artist.

Why choose TAR? Because here, you’ll find more than just an education – you’ll find a pathway to your definition of success. From tailored professional development to early preparation for university studies and beyond, our programs are designed to equip you with the tools you need to excel in your arts practice. But it’s not just about the skills – it’s about personal growth, too. Our students leave our programs not only with a full toolkit but also with a deeper understanding of themselves as artists.

What sets us apart? Our commitment to creating a learning environment that is respectful, generous, and nurturing. Here, you’ll find a community that supports your long-term development and cultivates meaningful relationships that last a lifetime.

So come join us at TAR, where your potential meets possibilities.

Who We Are

We believe that art begins with starting. Picking up a pen, a pencil, a paintbrush or an idea. Experimenting, making mistakes, finding out what it is you don’t know that you don’t know. And asking. It’s learning something new. Art grows in discussion, it’s encouraged in community and it thrives in experimentation and failure. Art is starting again, and again, and again.

At The Art Room, we encourage you to embrace new perspectives, build confidence, and push your boundaries. It’s a place where taking risks is celebrated, and failure is seen as a stepping stone to success. Throughout your artistic exploration, you’ll find unwavering support every step of the way.

Picture yourself in our spacious studio – equipped with everything you need, from studio gear to a treasure trove of books and journals, The Art Room is more than just a space – it’s a community where learning and connection thrive.

Ilona Nelson and Erika Gofton sitting on a couch in The Art Room

Founded by Erika Gofton in 2009, The Art Room has grown into a vibrant and thriving community. Collaborating closely with Erika for over a decade, Ilona Nelson officially joined as a partner in 2018, enhancing our collective vision.

Erika Gofton

Portrait of Erika Gofton in front of artworks

ERIKA GOFTON is a Naarm (Melbourne, Australia) based artist working across drawing, painting, ceramics and installation. Her work explores the many facets of what it is to be human, and precariously sits between the beautiful and the ugly, the ambiguous and the lucid, the dark and the light, the absent and the present.

She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and Post Graduate Diploma of Education and has undertaken further studies in London and New York.  She has held solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland, and has exhibited in numerous group and curated shows both within Australia and Internationally.

In 2012 winning the Toyota Community Spirit Travel Grant enabled her to undertake a residency in New York at Point B Worklodge. Whilst in New York she received a scholarship to complete the Drawing Marathon at The New York Studio School. She has been a finalist in the Paul Guest prize, Jacaranda Drawing Prize, Adelaide Perry prize for Drawing, the EMSLA, Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Mosman Art Prize, R & M McGivern Prize, the Redland Art Prize, City of Albany Art Prize, winning peoples choice in 2012.

Ilona Nelson


ILONA NELSON is an artist and curator.  She’s interested in making work that encapsulates honesty and truth, and searches for these qualities within our paradoxes.  Ilona works predominately with performance and photography but also incorporates installation and film.

Alongside her practice she has also created and curated a long term project called This Wild Song (TWS) which is a series of conceptual photographic portraits of Australian female visual artists who have a unique voice.  TWS celebrates the artists through these portraits plus interviews, exhibitions and events.

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