In May of this year, the call went out for the artists of the northern beaches, inviting not only artists, but also musicians, performers, arts organisations and the community to participate in this year's Manly Arts Festival. Judging by the 2010 line-up, the artists of the northern beaches responded with vigour.
From 3 to 19 September, the Manly Arts Festival will host exhibitions, open studios, literary events, music and dance performances, and youth events under the auspices of the NSW Government and artsConnect, among other stakeholders.
At the Manly Art Gallery and Museum, situated on the shores of Sydney Harbour within walking distance from Manly Wharf, several exhibitions will be held over the two-and-a-bit week program. On Monday 6 September, Brunch n' View will give visitors the opportunity to tour the "Eighty Tales from the Vault" exhibition with Therese Kenyon, the Gallery Director, before being served a brunch at the Gallery. On Sunday 12 September, from 10am to 12pm, there will be guided tours of Manly's public art installations and sculptures. On Saturday 18 September, the roles will be reversed as the public take up their easels to take part in a life drawing marathon in West Esplanade Reserve Manly.
For those more inclined towards the literary than the visual, there will be a variety of workshops held at Manly Library. The first Saturday of the Festival will see Vanessa Berry explaining the world of handmade, small print-run publications known as Zines. On 12 September, at a cost of $10, Wendy Blaxland will be running a writing workshop advising participants on the practical aspects of making a career out of writing.
There are, however, a number of events for people who cannot easily be categorised into one of those two camps. Throughout the Festival, music and art will collide in an exhibition of five artists preventing an interpretation of the theme of 'musicians and their music at Cristals Restaurant.
The Festival is also an important launching pad for up-and-coming artists. On 5 and 12 September, there will be a 24/7 Youth Film Festival at Star of the Sea Theatre. There will also be a Street Art Exhibition on the final Friday of the Festival, showcasing a number of street artworks produced by local youths. There will also be a short documentary exploring the often misunderstood history of graffiti as an art form.
With such a vast program, it may be necessary to formulate a varied personal program for yourself by viewing the website. Prices and booking requirements may differ according to the event, but every aspect of the program can boast the staggering harbour views of one of Sydney's northern beachside suburbs.