OSCA – OPEN SPACE CONTEMPORARY ARTS
is an artist led, multi-year funded South Australian arts organisation dedicated to the development of new models of participation and arts engagement across city, urban and regional locations. Over the last 8 years, OSCA has created and collaborated on over 40 works for festivals and events for audiences from 5 to 5000. Our interdisciplinary multi-arts outcomes and partnerships connect people to ideas about place, location, community, and the environment. We are invested in commissioning artist driven initiatives that offer the public new perspectives to the world around them.
OUR HISTORY – Kneehigh till now.
Formerly known as KneeHigh Puppeteers, OSCA has been a South Australian art maker since 1995. Our past body of work has been built on producing and touring new performance works with a particular focus on large-scale puppetry, spectacle theatre and community engagement projects. Led by Tony Hannan, KneeHigh Puppeteers had significant success with commissions for local and national festivals and countless international tours in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The company has traditionally received triennial funding from Arts SA and The Australia Council of the Arts along with significant additional income from commissioned work. After numerous high profile commissions at local and national festivals, and many international tours, it was considered time for the company to renew its directives.
In 2012 Dario Vacirca was appointed to lead and re-vision the organisation and started shifting the course to include new interdisciplinary artforms and artists working across performance, video, installation and curated events. This transformation saw the implementation of artist driven projects and the development of an Associate Artist model supporting leading independent SA artists.
At the start of 2016 a new artistic team consisting of Artistic Director Paul Gazzola & General Manager Janine Peacock took to the helm. Their combined history of over 50 years in curating and producing works with various communities in city, urban and regional sites saw OSCA consolidate its past and step forward with a new and bold set of directives.
In 2023, OSCA is led by CEO / Artistic Director Paul Gazzola alongside long term Finance manager Cheri Fang and Marketing specialist Alicia Wakeling. The organisation has also strong support from the board comprising of leading arts, health and business professionals.