A season of Regional Art

Spring in Ballarat is characterised by the blossoming of the city’s arts scene and this season is set to be no different with an array of arts and cultural wonders waiting to be unearthed. Here’s how the Secrets team thinks you should spend the next three months.

BIENNALE OF AUSTRALIAN ART

Celebrate the stories of Australia’s past and present as part of the inaugural Biennale of Australian Art (BOAA). Taking place between September 21 and November 6, the festival will feature the work of over 150 artists, with more than 65 exhibitions staged throughout Ballarat’s galleries, historic buildings and public spaces. Incorporating music, food, wine and artist talks in the program, BOAA will cement Ballarat’s position as an arts and cultural hub while paying tribute to Australia’s artists and artisans.

BOAA managing director Julie Collins said the festival would be the largest showcase of Australian art ever. “I thought it was time we celebrated and supported Australian artists, rather than always looking overseas for the next best thing,” Julie says. “BOAA has equal representation of artists from every state and territory. It is the first large-scale exhibition with this mission and it will be the largest showcase of Australian art ever presented.  Ballarat is set to be divided into three villages as part of the Biennale, with works from exhibiting artists scattered throughout each precinct – Lake and Gardens, CBD, and Eureka. For more information, visit http://boaa.net.au

ROYAL SOUTH STREET COMPETITIONS

Australia’s longest-running eisteddfod returns to Ballarat this spring, bringing a series of locales to life with music, theatre and performance. The Royal South Street Eisteddfod will be held between August and October, featuring everything from debating to ballet, calisthenics to classical concerts, dance to drama. Royal South Street is the perfect chance to watch some of the country’s most talented, up-and-coming youngsters strut their stuff on the stage.

VENTURE ON A GALLERY TRAIL

Explore Ballarat’s ever-increasing offering of galleries and museums, with many housing artworks as part of BOAA. Visit The Lost Ones Gallery and delight in the contemporary art in the 19th century Masonic lodge, surround yourself in the BOAA works at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, take in the stories of Victorian era fashion at the Gold Museum’s Victorian Silhouette exhibition, or admire the work of budding and professional artists at the iconic Post Office Gallery. Other arts spaces include Backspace Gallery, Gallery on Sturt, and Unicorn Lane Gallery.

LIVE MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT

Experience the entertainment offerings of Ballarat’s loved music venues – hosting some of the biggest and best talent from Ballarat and beyond. Karova Lounge, The Lost Ones Basement Bar, The Cabaret Club and The George Hotel are great spaces to hit up for an evening of live music and entertainment.

For more things to see and do during the spring season, head to http://visitballarat.com.au

Mica Grange