The SALA Festival 2017 is an annual celebration of art in South Australia. It's open to visual artists living in South Australia, and this year around 6,000 artists will be represented at nearly 700 events all around SA. From art exhibitions and workshops to art tours, gala opening nights at art galleries to a SALA Gala Dada Dance, the creative talents of South Australian artists will be on show everywhere in August.
Some large festivals can be a bit overwhelming with the sheer range of events to choose from, and initially, I thought it might be a problem with the SALA Festival. But fortunately, I found easy ways to filter the festival fog and find the fun things to see and do which matched my rather particular tastes.
Browsing the printed program guide makes it easy to find events that are local to you, as they are sorted into local government area order. The SALA events in Adelaide city, of course, get pride of place, but if you want to support your local artists then the guide makes it a breeze.
Follow the Bike Art Trail to a Coffee at Cafe Latino
The online program guide for SALA Festival 2017 is very flexible, and that's where I struck gold - looking for the quirky stuff that I like to see. It's rare for me to enter an art gallery, but I do get quite excited about art tours: exploring the art trails of Kilkenny on a bike is fantastic fun, taking my furballs on a dog friendly art tour will win me their undying devotion, and combining food, art markets, live entertainment and free things to do at Artisan on Partridge is brilliant.
Many art lovers will hunt to find their favourite artists at gallery exhibitions during the festival, and that's a breeze. But don't overlook the combined events like AFTERDARK - SALA in the Port. Catch ten exhibitions in just one evening on August 11, and if you find it exhausting there'll be food trucks and free live entertainment to revive you. Don't miss Neon Revival at Gallery Yampu, where you can relax by the riverside and watch for dolphins and pelicans.
I find that my other interests pervade and influence my preferences in art. What better way to combine a passion for heritage buildings with an art exhibition than at the Adelaide Central School of Art Open Day? Many young artists will display their works in this grand Victorian building that has been sensitively adapted for its new life.
Take a drive in the Adelaide Hills to the old Onkaparinga Woolen Mills to see Museum & Art, a collaboration of woollen mill memorabilia, junk art, sculpture and more. Also in the Adelaide Hills look out for Scenic Sculpture in Mount Lofty House and Into the Woods at Heathfield High.
Work From Emerging Artists is Displayed at Adelaide Central School of Art
Find fun things to do during the SALA Festival at the workshops and tours. Learn the art of light painting, from Denis Smith at Ball of Light but you will need to be very quick to catch this free event.
Combining retro and rail at the National Railway Museum.you'll find Steampunk Derailed, a collaboration of works from a group of emerging artists, and featuring popular Adelaide artist David Archer. David's previous exhibitions included Archer's Arcadia Holiday Fun and Uncomfortably Numb - I'm sure the quirky retro art at Steampunk Derailed will pull in crowds again.
Whatever your location or personal taste in art, head for the SALA Festival online program and start making your to-do list. Some of these events will book out quickly, so beating the rush makes sense. All the SALA events conveniently indicate whether they are suitable for children, and have disabled access.
To follow the latest gossip about what's on in Adelaide during August's SALA Festival, follow them on Facebook. If you must have a printed program, try your local library or art gallery.
Find Works From Struggling Artists Like Azzurro at The Henry Austin