Martin has worked in the Arts since graduating with a Degree in Fine Art (photography) from Victoria College in 1990. Early employment included photographic assignments with book publishers companies and news media including commissioned work for The Age newspaper.
Martin has managed the City of Melbourne’s International Arts and Major Festivals program; overseeing relationships with Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Melbourne Writers’ Festivals, Midsumma Festival and Melbourne Fringe Festival.
In addition to festivals, Martin has managed the City’s Art and Heritage Collection, comprising over 5000 cultural assets valued at over $34 million, Public Art Program including the Laneway Commissions and Melbourne Conversations Program, a series of free public talks on local and global cultural topics. These programs have significantly enhanced Melbourne’s recognition as a city that promotes ideas, discussion and critical debate, and one that transforms its public spaces and buildings to reveal surprising, intimate and astounding, ephemeral and lasting artistic intervention.
Martin Paten has directed the 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 Castlemaine State Festivals, taking them to unprecedented levels of creative and financial success and international acclaim.
Martin is currently represented on the Board of Regional Arts Australia and Regional Arts Victoria.