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Discover new ways to enjoy art
Adelaide Artist Ricky Spier at a Street Art Festival
August is the month for artists in South Australia to take centre stage, with thousands of artists exhibiting at venues all about SA. It's far more than simply a huge art exhibition though. The South Australian Living Artist (SALA) Festival brings loads of free things to do in August, with plenty of fun for kids too.
The SALA Festival program is enormous. Fortunately an easy to read printed program was released in The Advertiser on July 9, and you can search the program guide online at the SALA Festival website. For this article I have picked some of what I think are the highlights of the festival, but I barely sampled the sstraightforward art exhibitions - many of these will appeal too based on your location and personal tastes.
Unless otherwise stated all events that I have listed are free events, and suitable for children. I've specially concentrated on fun things to do and family activities.
Special Events The free SALA Street Party on July 28 at Queen Street Croydon is just the latest of a long line of street parties in the area. The locals, supported by the City of Charles Sturt are celebrating the start of the SALA Festival with live street entertainment, interactive art activities and family friendly fun things to do. More on Facebook.
SALA in the Garden at Unley Soldiers Memorial Gardens on August 16 is a full day of fun for all ages. There are free things to do for all the family such as art activities and demonstrations, live music and activities for kids including art workshops. Toss in great coffee and some fine food and wine, and you'll be there all day. Info here.
SALA in the Garden at the Botanic Gardens is not to be confused with the event above. This free event takes place every day in August with four separate art exhibitions. For me the highlight will be Otanical - a 360-degree virtual reality work which is only open August 5-7 and 12-14. Event details.
SALA in the Square is at Victoria Square (Vic) from August 1-27 with a chance to see a selection of Adelaide artists in action. It's not mentioned, but I'd expect to see some of our tasty food trucks showing up to feed the crowds and provide warming winter drinks. Details.
Art Markets A couple of art markets will be of interest to connoisseur art shoppers. Brighton Art Market on August 21 will host busy market stalls selling original handmade works by artists and designers. Free things to do include art workshops for all ages and live art demonstrations, live music, and an awesome range of market stalls selling locally made food and of course piping hot coffees.
Free Walking Tours in Adelaide and Beyond Smelling the Markets is one of the fun things to do for the SALA Festival. Take free blindfolded walking tours of Adelaide Central Markets on selected days between August 2-26. It will be a very different experience and fabulous fun for kids too. Wheelchair friendly, no bookings required. Details here.
BYO furry friend for a fantastic curated guided walk with artist Jenna Pippett and her hound Tilly on August 20. This dog friendly tour starts from Victoria Square, and bookings are essential.
Overseas visitors are welcome for the SALA Festival too - there are even special Bi-lingual Chinese Art Tours. Both walking tours and cycling tours are available on weekends, but bookings are essential.
Over at Port Adelaide there are plenty of art exhibitions. Why not take the Port SALA Walk to discover them all? Details.
Dancing is one of the fun things to do in Adelaide, and the Dance Party Art Tour is quite unique. You won't catch me there because I can barely tap my toes, but I'm sure you'll love it. Free tickets here.
There are many other really innovative art tours in Adelaide during the SALA Festival, including art tours with your baby. See here for the full range.
A Charabanc Motor Coach in Adelaide 1926 (Image: State Library SA B3996)
Escape the City With a SALA Festival Bus Tour
The SALA Festival is for all of South Australia, and I have hardly touched on art exhibitions that are not in Adelaide. There's an easy and inexpensive way to see SALA outside the metro area, and that's with a $30 bus tour.
You can head for popular stamping grounds like the Fleurieu Peninsula, Adelaide Hills, and Barossa Valley or head to more exotic destinations like Palmer. At Palmer you will take a walk around the 400 acre property with leading environmentalist Andrew Allanson and sculptor Greg Johns. Quite unusual!.
Urban Exploration and Street Art Sometimes Go Together
Specialty Art Exhibitions
The arcane art of urban exploration will have its secrets exposed at Behind Closed Doors, a photographic art exhibition by emerging artist Scott McCarten and friends. Held in the recently restored Darling Building in Adelaide, this unique exhibition will expose the hidden secrets of some awesome Adelaide places to explore.
Country Arts SA have the challenge of supporting regional artists in South Australia. Diverse is an exhibition in Strathalbyn created by a state wide group of artists chosen for the Country Arts SA Road Trip 2016 - Colleen Cavanagh, Sally Goers Fox, Gaynor Hartvigsen, Rosa Merlino, Tania Kunze, Care Vaughan, and Rosemary Whitehead. These regionally based artists live across the state's South East, Hills and Fleurieu. Together they will be showing a vibrant mix of paintings, sculpture, textiles and ceramics at the Strathalbyn Library throughout August.
Diverse Art Exhibition at the SALA Festival (Image Supplied)