The South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival will get the state’s art started tomorrow (August 1) when it officially opens for its milestone 20th year, presenting the works of a record breaking 6282 artists in 660 free exhibitions across Adelaide and regions throughout August.
During August more than 560 venues from pubs and cafes to wineries, bookshops and even cemeteries will be transformed into pop-up art galleries for 31 days, showing all forms of visual art from painting, sculpture and jewellery to video, multimedia and more.
SALA’s first week will see the official opening of more than 170 exhibitions across the state, all open to the public and free.
Some SALA exhibitions are already on show, such as the flagship exhibitions of Jam Factory Icons Catherine Truman at the Jam Factory and Gerry Wedd at Signal Point Gallery in Goolwa, Sera Waters at new contemporary art gallery ACE Open, Adelaide Airport exhibition island home and solo shows by 2017 SALA Featured Artist Christopher Orchard at the Art Gallery of South Australia and BMG Art Gallery.
Highlights of this year’s festival include:
• THE SALA PARLOUR: This funky converted shipping container on the lawns of the SA Museum is the festival’s newest public art venue, featuring a range of pop-up exhibitions, live demonstrations, come-n-try sessions and fun family activities. Open every day in August (excluding Mondays). Generously supported by Office for the Ageing.
• CELEBRITY PORTRAITS: See famous Adelaide faces including Port Power footy legend Gavin Wanganeen, pie king Vili Milisits and Channel Seven’s Rosanna Mangiarelli have their portraits painted live in front of the public as part of the Royal South Australian Society of Art Third Biennial Portrait Prize Exhibition. Open daily, to August 27. For live session times go to salafestival.com
• THE GOVERNOR’S SCULPTURAL GARDEN: Enjoy grand-scale sculptures by 11 artists including Wesley Harrop, Quentin Gore, Nicholas Uhlmann and Ronda Wallis in the beautiful surrounds of the Government House Gardens, along with an afternoon of fun art activities at the special SALA open day on Sunday August 13.
• IMMERSIVE ART DINNER: Eat your art out at You ART What You Eat, an immersive art dinner experience at city supper hotspot The Propaganda Club, curated by smash hit sold-out stars of the Adelaide Fringe, Post Dining. Dine on, in and around art – and maybe even take some home – at this unique culinary event that mixes food, performance and art. (Thursday August 24)
• SALA GALA DADA DANCE: Expect avant-garde fashion, postmodern beats and more than a touch of the absurd at this Dada-inspired ball in the newly revamped Old Regent former cinema complex. Celebrate SALA’s final weekend with a night of dancing, canapes and cocktails by The Propaganda Club, with DJs, live performance art and surprising installations. (Saturday August 26)
• ART TOURS: Walk, cycle or drive your way through SALA and the RAA’s more than 25 art tours across the city, suburbs and regions, including the ever popular Bring the Baby Art Tour (August 4) and Dog Friendly Art Tour (August 20), and new 18+ pub crawl Sketchy Art Tour where participants can “draw under the influence” as they bar hop (August 25).
• OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND: Meet local artists and watch them create at the SALA Open Studio Weekend (August 12-13), when more than 120 artists will throw open the doors to their studios and work spaces to show the public how they work.
• ART AFTER DARK: SALA gets going when the sun goes down, bringing Adelaide’s West End to life for one jam-packed night of exhibition openings, film screenings and “PechaKucha” – a fun event for creative people to share ideas. (Thursday August 10, 5pm to 9pm).
• SALA FORUM DAY: A host of top practicing artists will lead a full day of discussion and debate at ACE Open in the Lion Arts Centre about the value of visual arts, now and in the future. (Saturday August 19, 11am to 4pm)
This year’s festival also sees seven official artist residencies with Jane Skeer, Steph Fuller and Sonali Patel working in and around the Adelaide Festival Centre, Flinders Medical Centre and SAHMRI to create artworks inspired by their surroundings, as well as Henry Stentiford, Jade Harland, Jamahl Pollard and Richard Parker based at Country Health SA outlets in Glenside, Berri and Whyalla.
And don’t miss the SALA Art Cars hitting Adelaide’s streets during this year’s festival, generously provided by North Point Toyota and wrapped in colourful artwork by Dan Withey and Dana Kinter. SALA Festival General Manager Penny Griggs said with a record number of exhibitions and artists the 2017 program cemented August as “visual art month” in South Australia, with art and cultural events for all.
“Local artists of all levels share their work with us throughout August. You’re invited to be part of the SALA community and explore the 660 exhibitions and events on offer throughout the state this year,” she said.
More information about all SALA exhibitions and events can be found online at www.salafestival.com or by calling 8233 0676. All SALA events are free unless otherwise noted.
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