Official opening of the 25th SALA Festival

Celebrating its 25th year, the 2022 South Australian Living Artists (SALA) festival officially opened last night and will take place from August 1-31 in Adelaide and the South Australia region. SALA continues to be the largest open access visual arts festival in the world and this year has 648 events and a record number of 11,865 artists participating in 585 venues.

Throughout August, South Australians can enjoy the unlimited creativity of local artists in a variety of settings in their neighborhoods, galleries, schools, libraries, community spaces, retirement villages, commercial spaces, hospitality venues and businesses.

SALA has grown significantly since its inception in 1998, featuring more artists each year at all stages of their creative journey, from beginners to more established artists. From year to year, spaces are transformed, new materials are used and innovative techniques are introduced. With a wide range of disciplines including painting, sculpture, moving image, installation, drawing, ceramics, SALA provides a platform during the winter for people to discover the talented creatives of our community and explore the rich and diverse art produced by these artists.

SALA CEO Kate Moskwa said: “South Australia can be proud of the 25th anniversary of SALA – the festival that transforms our beautiful state into one great gallery and celebrates the identity of SA through our own artists. There are so many ways to enjoy the SALA Festival, book into a workshop, join a tour, gather friends and carve your own path through the regions, and find new or beloved SA artists in the Embrace and Engage program. Connect with the visual arts this winter and get to know the incredible creative talent our state has to offer.”

Highlights from this year’s festival include:

SALA HUB – To mark the 25th anniversary, SALA presents the new SALA Hub at the Queen’s Theater in the city. This iconic venue will run from August 18-31 and will host a range of events including;
SILVER – To celebrate the milestone of SALA’s 25th anniversary, a curatorial circle has been invited to nominate South Australian artists whose work, for them, embodies the values ​​and heritage of the iconic US festival. Featured artists include Roy Ananda, Kirsten Coelho, Margaret Dodd, Tsering Hannaford, Sue Kneebone, Juanella McKenzie, Ian North, Christopher Orchard, Tom Phillips, Sonya Rankine, Darren Siwes, James Tylor, Angela Valamanesh, Sera Waters and Laura Wills. Curatorial Officer Carollyn Kavanagh.

Cartoon Marathon by Christopher Orchard. For the first time, SALA and Adelaide Central School of Art are co-presenting the Drawing Marathon, led by South African luminary Christopher Orchard. Orchard is one of the leading exponents of the drawn image in Australia and is well recognized by its peers nationally, in Europe and in the United States. August 20 – 24.

Masterclass in Classical Realism led by Rob Gutteridge. In this Masterclass, students responding to the figure will see how realistic drawings are developed in a skill-based training workshop. Explore the role of percept and concept in shaping college life with a master of anatomy, structure, and form. August 26 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Workshops – There are a number of workshops with some of Adelaide’s leading artists:
Jewelry: Lost wax casting with Erin Daniells. Erin is a contemporary jeweler and visual artist whose works explore the concept of beauty and imperfection. Participants will create a unique silver ring using the lost wax casting process. August 27 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Photography: Light Painting with Denis Smith. Light painting artist Denis Smith leads a hands-on workshop creating magical light sculptures. August 27 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Drawing: Portrait drawing with Jasmine Crisp. Jasmine is an emerging artist based in Adelaide working primarily in painting and drawing. August 28 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Ceramics: Votive vessels with Sam Gold. Participants will make either an oil burner or a wall-mounted ritual object, using traditional methods in a contemporary way.
August 29 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Guided Walking Tours – Don’t miss the chance to hear expert artist guides as they lead (or guide) you through a selection of exhibits in the city of Adelaide.
Understanding Contemporary Art: This tour is for anyone who’s ever thought “my kid could have done that” when looking at art. Join artist Dr Melanie Cooper for the opportunity to appreciate the incredible contemporary works of art being created by South Australian artists today. August 13 & 20
First Nations Art Tour: Join artist Thomas Readett for a tour of the SALA exhibitions taking place in Tarntanya (Adelaide) featuring works by First Nations artists.
August 13 11am-12pm & 1pm-2pm

Street Art Tour: Join artist Leah Grant on this street art tour by South Australian artists in Adelaide. The Saturday tour is on foot and on Sunday the tour is by scooter – provided free of charge by Beam. August 27, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. – walking / August 28, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. – scooter
SALA Art Tour in Farsi: Join artist Elyas Alavi on this walking tour of art exhibitions in Adelaide. Organized in collaboration with ARTA, this circuit is presented in Farsi. August 19 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
SALA Art Tour in Mandarin: Join artist Jingwei Bu on this walking tour of exhibitions in Adelaide. Presented in Mandarin, this visit is sure to stop at Nexus Arts where Jingwei exhibits.
August 15 10 a.m.

SALA Slide Night – A night of fun and frivolity, hear South Australian artists talk about their art, interests or anything else. A far cry from your grandma’s slide party, this event is a quick snapshot of what contemporary artists in South Australia are thinking. Featured artists include Troy-Anthony Baylis, Frances Barrett, Ashleigh Keller, Emma Young, Denis Smith and more! August 25 6 – 9 p.m.

SHOP SALA – Another new initiative is Shop SALA, an exciting new digital platform where people can discover South Australian artists and buy their art directly. The platform aims to support and celebrate our talented local artists during the festival and beyond with the platform operating as a year-round offering.

OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND – SA artists are opening their studios to the public on August 6 and 7 as part of the SALA Festival Open Studios Weekend. It’s a great opportunity to go behind the scenes, meet local artists and gain insight into their creative process, whether they’re part of a band studio or working from a home- studio. There are additional open studios throughout the festival in a number of regions. Check the SALA schedule to find out which studios are open near you.

REGIONAL SELF-GUIDED TOURS – Appoint a driver and go on your very own SALA day trip to the Adelaide Hills, Barossa, Onkaparinga town, Encounter Bay, Murraylands and the Limestone Coast, visit the SALA website for more details.

SALA’s featured artist for 2022 is Mark Valenzuela with his unique style featured on the cover of the 2022 SALA Festival program and poster. He was also commemorated in the official 2022 South Australian Living Artists (SALA) publication, funded by Arts South Australia to be published by Wakefield Press and written by Belinda Howden and Anna O’Loughlin.

With a career spanning two decades, Mark is an Adelaide-based artist who works between Australia and the Philippines. Although his practice willfully resists categorization, ceramics is an enduring medium for him and has functioned as a central element in his multi-part installations that combine elements of painting, drawing, sculpture, video assemblage and art. ‘Street art.

Working between the two countries, Mark’s expanded ceramic practice is sensitive to space. He considers the ideas of occupation and annexation; examines themes of conflict, domination and resistance – reflecting on his early experiences growing up in army base camps in the southern Philippines – and frequently combines the personal with the political. His works have been featured in the 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, the 15th Australian Ceramics Triennial and the 3rd Jakarta Biennial of Contemporary Ceramics. He is the recipient of the 2015 Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Award.

Mark has two exhibitions at SALA ‘Still Tied To A Tree’ at Adelaide Central Gallery until September 16 and has work on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia until August 31.

At the opening last night it was announced that artist Helen Fuller would be the featured artist for 2023 and the subject of the 2023 South Australian Living Artists publication, to be written by lead writer Ross Wolfe and writers Glenn Barkley, Sasha Grbich.

SALA Art Cars will roam the streets of Adelaide during this year’s festival, generously provided by Jarvis Skoda and wrapped in artwork by Micky Barlow and Lesley Redgate.

About Margaret L. Portillo

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