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Costume making with Justine and Leila

Storytelling through costume making Free school holiday workshops for LGBTQIA+ young people (ages 12-25) living in the Blacktown area. Explore your connections to place and community, and turn these personal stories…

Mary Nguyen interview

Mary Thi Nguyen is a local Vietnamese-Australian artist who received a Blacktown Arts Pat Parker Residency in 2019. She is also a part of our Open studio group of local artists. To UnMask is…

Mary Nguyen | Solo exhibition

Mary Thi Nguyen is a local Vietnamese artist who received a Blacktown Arts Pat Parker Residency in 2019. She is also a part of our Open studio group of local…

Blacktown City Art Prize 2020 | Entries open!

The Blacktown City Art Prize is a much loved open-themed award and exhibition which celebrates its 25th year in 2020. Artists across Australia are invited to submit work for the prize, which…

Close Encounters with the Blacktown City Art Collection | Simryn Gill

Simryn Gill is a Malaysian-Australian artist who is known for her work in photography, video, and using found objects. Her work 'Pearls' was created using two of Gough Whitlam's retyped…

View From Here

While in isolation, local artists in the Blacktown Arts Open studio group on Facebook have been preparing for a new exhibition titled View From Here, by creating an artwork of their…

Callout for creative workshop facilitators

Over coming years, Blacktown Arts is committed to increasing the opportunities for our communities to have access to a diverse range of creative activities. We are interested in hearing from…

Blacktown Arts Residency Program announcement

A huge congratulations to the 8 artists who have been chosen for residencies with Blacktown Arts in 2020! Our artists-in-residence will explore their artistic practice, experiment with new forms and produce…

Arts Advisory Committee

Love Blacktown? Want to play a part in developing our vibrant arts and culture sector? We are looking for passionate people to join the Blacktown City Council Arts Advisory Committee.

Close Encounters

We are celebrating the re-opening of The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre with Close Encounters, an exhibition of works chosen by you! There are more than 300 artworks in the…

Tracks webinar: Navigating the music industry

Tracks returns virtually in 2020 with a knowledge sharing program that highlights the incredible work happening in Western Sydney while providing support in accessing the music industry!

Blacktown City Council 2020 Creative Arts Fund Recipients Announced

A street mural painted by school children, intimate musical performances, a play confronting domestic violence, creative art sessions for disadvantaged people with disability and Bollywood dance workshops are just some…

EOI Blacktown City Art Prize Sponsorship

The Blacktown City Art Prize is back in 2020, with a full suite of activities designed to engage and excite residents and visitors alike. From the prestigious award itself through…

Creative Holidays

Join Blacktown Arts for our digital school holiday program. This program focuses on keeping kids and young people busy and creative during their school holiday break.

Terra inFirma – 360 VR tour

Explore untold histories and discover works by some of Australia's most exciting artists via Blacktown Arts' first virtual reality tour - Terra inFirma.

What’s on

We have a range of programs, activities and content available for people of all ages and backgrounds. Click here to see What's On at Blacktown Arts!

Research and Development Space

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the arts and cultural sector in Australia and we would like to support independent artists and companies in any way we can. Since…

Reopening The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre

The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre will be reopening from 16 June 2020, 10.00 am – 5.00 pm Tuesday – Friday. The decision to reopen has been carefully planned by Blacktown…

Artists in conversation: Judy Watson and Venessa Possum

Join First Nations artists, Judy Watson and Venessa Possum, as they discuss their art practice and the significance of 2020, the 250th year since James Cook’s arrival in Australia. The audience will see…

Western Sydney Shorts

Local films made by local artists about local life Over the next month, Blacktown Arts and CuriousWorks will bring you Western Sydney Shorts, a home-grown feast of short films and one feature, curated…

I am Blacktown

See incredible moments from Blacktown's extensive history immortalised in tile as part of Blacktown Arts' first online exhibition, I am Blacktown. I am Blacktown captures memories as shared by Blacktown…

Isolation Selfie Chain

We are inviting Blacktown locals to help us create a virtual wall of isolation portraits shared online called the Isolation Selfie Chain. If you are from the Blacktown area or…

Blacktown Arts temporarily closes in response to COVID-19

Update: We are now open, plan your visit here. Blacktown Arts temporarily closes its doors. Blacktown Arts continues to carefully monitor the COVID-19 situation to ensure it provides a safe…

Blacktown Arts temporarily suspends upcoming public programs and events

Update: We are now open, plan your visit here.   Blacktown Arts is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will ensure that we remain a safe and welcoming space. As…

Terra inFirma

Blacktown Arts has announced the launch of Terra inFirma, an exhibition and performance program exploring expansion, voyage and discovery running throughout 2020.   5 March 2020 - 10 July 2020…

Opportunities for artists and community organisations to apply for funding to develop arts projects

Blacktown Arts is offering a range of opportunities to artists and creatives to apply for funding to develop art and cultural programs with local communities. Now open for submissions are…

The Presumption of Being a Good Woman

Reaching from The Ponds in the north to Dawson Mall in the west, Magnify activated sites across Blacktown with music, dance, film and installations. Local artists and communities shared stories of our region…

BCAP19 People’s Choice Prize

Blacktown Arts congratulates Sydney artist Sara Sohrabian on winning this year’s Blacktown City Art Prize People’s Choice Prize, for her mixed media work, I am in a relationship with the…

I am Blacktown

 Blacktown residents tell stories of this City, immortalising memories of now and then.  Local ceramic artists Mike Moore and Jeff Lees from Highlands Pottery will work with residents to explore Blacktown…

2019 Blacktown City Art Prize Winners

Blacktown resident, Jamie Eastwood, was awarded the 2019 Blacktown City Art Prize for his mixed media artwork, Blacktown Native Institution 1823-2018 Then and Now. The significant artwork about Blacktown’s history…

See the art, make the art! – Summer Workshop Program

This summer we are offering a range of engaging and creative workshops with artists for children, families and adults. While you are at the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre, you…

2019 Blacktown City Art Prize

2019 Blacktown City Art Prize Blacktown City Art Prize is our much loved art prize exhibition showcasing the work of finalists from across the country. Final works for the 2019 display…

The Poster Centre | Wendy Murray

Wendy Murray is a Sydney-based artist and arts-educator. She was artist-in-residence at the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre from 4 July to 31 August 2019, running a pop-up studio called…

2019 Blacktown City Art Prize | Finalists

114 artworks have been selected for the 2019 Blacktown City Art Prize! The winners will be selected from this list of finalists, and announced at the official opening on Saturday,…

SOFT PEDAL – The Western

On Saturday 26 October, Blacktown Arts is hosting an immersive electronic music event called SOFT PEDAL. Blacktown Arts invites audiences to experience new music, sounds and sensations by five highly…

SOFT PEDAL

SOFT PEDAL is a night of electronic and experimental sound work curated by artist George Tillianakis and featuring performances by artists David Haines & Joyce Hinterding, Peter Blamey, Del Lumanta,…

Amplified Part II

Following on from the success of their immersive art installation Amplified, brothers Ernest and Andrew Aaron continued their residency at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre to develop a second iteration of their installation: Amplified Part II.…

School Holiday Workshops with CuriousWorks

These School Holidays, join CuriousWorks and film editor, production designer and animator Sandra May for these 2 fun filled film workshops. In Flipbook Films, 6 – 8 year olds will…

Blacktown Shorts Screening at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre

Blacktown Arts is thrilled to announce that the films from short film festival Blacktown Shorts will be screening at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.  Blacktown Shorts showcases the unique…

How To Photograph your Artwork with Jennifer Leahy

Are you planning to enter a major prize or simply improve your artistic portfolio? Then this two-session workshop is for you. In these hands on workshops, you will learn about…

Magnify

Blacktown Arts is presenting MAGNIFY. Reaching from The Ponds in the north to Dawson Mall in the west, Magnify will activate sites across Blacktown with music, dance, film and installations.…

Announcement | 2019 Creative Arts Fund

17 local artists and community organisations can create new artwork and develop their creative skills with funding assistance through the Blacktown City Council 2019 Creative Arts Fund. The Fund will…

Warrick Lane Public Art | EOI

Blacktown City Council is inviting expressions of interest from artists for the undertaking of public art project/s as part of the exciting WARRICK LANE REDEVELOPMENT that will transform Blacktown CBD.…

2019 Young Artists Prize

The theme of the Blacktown City Young Artists Prize for 2019 is Repair & Restore, asking young artists to respond to: Countries around the world have declared that climate change…

 Entries open for the 2019 Blacktown City Art Prize!

Entries for the 2019 Blacktown City Art Prize are now open. Now in its 24th year, the Blacktown City Art Prize is a highly valued art prize, with cash prizes…

The Poster Centre: Inspired by Garage Graphix

Wendy Murray will be the artist-in-residence at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre from 4 July to 31 August 2019. Inspired by the exceptional poster prints from the 1980s and…

Weaving workshop with Phyllis Stewart and Steven Russell | a reflection

Genevieve Stewart is a Kuku Yalanji woman and is studying a Bachelor in Design Animation at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). She undertook an internship with Solid Ground and…

Front Up Workshops

Blacktown Arts and Front Up are joining forces to facilitate a series of workshops especially curated for people with disability. In June, local artist George Tillianakis will guide participants through a series of workshops.

Blacktown Shorts Announcement

Blacktown Arts is pleased to announce the successful applicants of Blacktown Shorts. Blacktown Shorts is a new western Sydney film festival, delivered as part of Blacktown Arts’ upcoming Magnify 2019 festival.

National Volunteer Week

To celebrate National Volunteer Week, we interviewed three of our wonderful volunteers at the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre to hear more about their experience volunteering with us.

Announcement | 2019 Residents

Blacktown Arts will host a selection of local, national and international artists throughout 2019 as part of the Blacktown Arts Residency Program. Our 2019 artists-in-residence will explore their artistic practice,…

Thank you Jenny Bisset

Jenny Bisset, Manager Arts & Cultural Development at Blacktown City Council, is leaving our team after fourteen years. We wish Jenny all the best for her future endeavours and thank her for all her incredible work.

kanalaritja: An Unbroken String | A Reflection

Genevieve Stewart is a Kuku Yalanji woman and is studying a Bachelor in Design Animation at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). She is currently undertaking an internship with Solid…

Blacktown 2020 – Artists’ Community Conversation

Blacktown City is developing the Blacktown City Social Profile 2020 – a key guide for Council to better understand and respond to our community’s needs and aspirations.

The Art and Life of Alex Kolozsy – Sculptor | Exhibition

23 May – 27 June 2019. Blood, Sweat & Tears: The Art and Life of Alex Kolozsy – Sculptor. Blacktown resident, Vitéz Dr. Alex Sándor Kolozsy, will be exhibiting 50 of his artworks at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

A World of Zines | What are zines?

This year, Blacktown Arts is hosting a series of zine-making workshop with artist Melissa Chaney. Have you heard of zines, but not quite sure what they are? Here’s a quick intro!

Easter Weekend & ANZAC Day | Centre Closure Dates

The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre will be closed over the 2019 Easter Long Weekend. The Centre will also be closed on ANZAC Day, Thursday 25 April 2019.

Artists-in-Residence | Sima Alikhani and Neda Farrahi

We caught up with visual artists Alikhani and Neda Farrahi in the closing weeks of their residencies with us. Both are migrants, mothers, and painters.

Performance & Movement Workshops | Binh Duy Ta

Throughout 2019, Blacktown Arts will present 3 terms of performance and movement workshops, facilitated by performance artist and martial arts instructor Binh Duy Ta | Term 2 starts 7 May

STARTERS | An exchange of food and conversation

Blacktown Arts and Critical Path invite you to STARTERS, where you will join four respected artists for a unique exchange of food and conversation. Julie-Anne Long, Anna Kuroda, Taree Sansbury and Brian Fuata.

Work With Us | Aboriginal Arts Development Officer

Blacktown City Council has posted an opportunity for an experienced Aboriginal artsworker to join the Blacktown Arts team. Applications close 19 April 2019.

‘Force Field of Complex Journeys’ in New York

Mehwish Iqbal’s artwork ‘Force Field of Complex Journeys’ recently travelled to New York for Mehwish’s solo exhibition ‘Mind, Body, State’ at HG Contemporary.

‘The Sleep of Convicts’ – Dobell Drawing Prize Finalist

Rooty Hill based artist Kristone Capistrano has been selected as a finalist in the coveted Dobell Drawing Prize for his study of nineteenth century Filipino convict migrants.

Blacktown Shorts Film Festival | EOI

‘Blacktown Shorts’ is a new western Sydney film festival, delivered as part of our upcoming ‘Magnify’ 2019 festival in Blacktown. Expressions of Interest close Monday 8 April 2019

Weaving with Steven Russell & Phyllis Stewart

Master weavers Steven Russell and Phyllis Stewart will present a number of workshops alongside our current exhibition ‘kanalaritja: An Unbroken String’ at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

Top things to see during Sydney Design Festival

With over 100 things to see and do, we’ve presented a short list of exhibitions, talks and workshops recommended by the Blacktown Arts team!

kanalaritja: An Unbroken String

kanalaritja: An Unbroken String is an exhibition and series of workshops that celebrates the generations of makers who have sustained the uniquely Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural practice of making delicate shell necklaces.

Erik Shahmoradian wins the community’s vote

‘Life’, a small and delicate ceramic artwork by Glenwood artist Erik Shahmoradian, has been voted the winner of the People’s Choice Prize in the 2018 Blacktown City Art Prize.

Opportunity | 2019 Creative Arts Fund

The Blacktown City Council Creative Arts Fund is an important local initiative that supports new artistic projects across Blacktown City. $40,000 worth of grants will be awarded to local individuals and organisations.

Opportunity | 2019 Blacktown Arts Residency Program

Blacktown Arts is accepting applications for the 2019 Blacktown Arts Residency Program. This program provides a range of opportunities for artists to develop creative projects in all art forms.

Binh Duy Ta | The Man Behind the Movement

Before Binh Duy Ta begins his series of Mindful Movements workshops with Blacktown Arts, read more about the man behind the movement, and learn more about what to expect from his workshops.

kanalaritja: An Unbroken String | Documentary

From 22 February – 20 April 2019 Blacktown Arts will present kanalaritja: An Unbroken String. Watch this short film to learn more about this upcoming touring exhibition from Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

What can we do to say “bye bye” to plastics?

In 2018, participants in the Young Artists Prize were asked to consider what we can do to say “bye bye” to plastics and save our marine life. Every young artist came up with their own ideas and solutions. Read them here!

Sunset Sessions | Blacktown Showground Precinct

Live entertainment and refreshments. The Sunset Sessions run every night during the Blak Box – Four Winds season at the Blacktown Showground Precinct.

It’s Our Thing: Part 3 | Expressions of Interest

Blacktown City Council invites artists to submit Expressions of Interest (EOI) for two (2) laneway transformation projects within the Blacktown Central Business District (CBD). Expressions of Interest close Friday 1 February 2019.

Blacktown Arts | 2019 Program

When will we see you in Blacktown? Click on the images below to browse our 2019 program (or download the PDF) and plan your visit today. Image Artwork is a rendered version of an…

Holiday Season | Centre Closure Dates

We’ve officially wrapped up another year of making art in Blacktown! Please note: The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre has closed for the year and will reopen to the public on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

Blak Box – Four Winds | Sydney Festival 2019

The voices of elders and future leaders from Blacktown’s Aboriginal community feature in Four Winds, a surround-sound ‘deep listening’ experience curated by Daniel Browning.

Blacktown Arts Participation Survey

We are conducting a survey to learn more about our audience’s experiences and attitudes. This research help us plan our future programming and direction as leaders in the development of contemporary arts in Australia.

Make Art at Home | Memories

Do you have a special memory that you would like to hold on to forever? Turn your memory into an artwork following this fun video inspired by Hyun-Hee Lee’s artwork, Lost Letters II.

Summer in Blacktown | What’s on?

Visit Blacktown throughout summer and experience a range of programs presented by Blacktown Arts. Blak Box, 2018 Blacktown City Art Prize, kanalaritja: An Unbroken String.

2018 Blacktown City Art Prize | People’s Choice Prize

Have you voted for your favourite artwork in the 2018 Blacktown City Art Prize? You can vote in person or online through the Blacktown City Art Prize Instagram account!

Blacktown City Art Prize | UNSW Art & Design Alumni

Each year, the Blacktown City Art Prize receives a record number of entries. This year, we are proud to announce that an impressive 30% of the finalists in the 2018 Blacktown City Art Prize are UNSW Art & Design alumni.

2018 Blacktown City Art Prize Winners

Bankstown Koori Elders Group was awarded the 2018 Blacktown City Art Prize for Tribal Pride, a 190 cm sculptural work made from clay, wood and sand.

Blacktown City Art Prize 2011-2017

On the eve of the opening of the 2018 Blacktown City Art Prize, we take a look through our archives and reflect on the winning works in recent years. Who will win the $15,000 prize this year?

IMAGinE Awards 2018 | Blacktown Native Institution

Blacktown Arts in partnership with C3West (Museum of Contemporary Art Australia), received a Museums & Galleries of NSW 2018 IMAGinE award for the recent iteration of our Blacktown Native Institution project

IMAGinE Awards 2018 | Balik Bayan

Blacktown Arts received a High Commended recognition in the 2018 Museums & Galleries NSW IMAGinE Awards for our recent project, Balik Bayan.

Insight | RIGHT HERE. RIGHT NOW.

RIGHT HERE. RIGHT NOW. is for us. The people who love Blacktown and the people who loathe her. The ones that left. And the ones that stayed. This is your last chance to see her.

2018 Young Artists Prize

The Blacktown City Art Prize celebrates the creativity of local young people through an environmentally-themed Young Artists Prize. This section is open to 5 – 15 year olds who live or go to school in Blacktown City.

2018 Blacktown City Art Prize | Finalists

88 artworks have been selected as finalists in the 2018 Blacktown City Art Prize. The winning work will be announced on Saturday 1 December 2018 at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

RIGHT HERE. RIGHT NOW.

A contemporary place-based experience in the heart of Blacktown. This November, audiences can experience Blacktown in a brand new way through performance, installation, music, film and food.

Urban Theatre Projects | About

RIGHT HERE. RIGHT NOW. will be the 6th partnership between UTP and Blacktown Arts and reflects our shared commitment to re-setting the cultural conversation about contemporary multicultural Australia.

2018 Blacktown City Art Prize | Call for Entries

The winner of the Blacktown City Art Prize will receive $15,000. This year, the winners of the Local Artist Prize and Aboriginal Artist Prize will also have the opportunity to undertake a 3-month residency in our Main St studios.

‘One Dance at a Time’ excerpt | Maryam Zahid

One Dance at a Time is based on Maryam Zahid’s personal story. Maryam, an activist in Western Sydney’s Afghan community, started the online group ‘Afghan Women on the Move’.

Afghan Women Find a Voice and Space

We invited photographer and freelance journalist Abdul Hekmat to respond to Daneha (Seeds). Abdul is PhD candidate at UTS, where he explores refugee lived experiences through art and narrative writings.

Make Art at Home | Pearls

Have you ever made your own jewellery using recycled materials? Watch this fun video and make your own wearable art inspired by Simryn Gill’s artwork Pearls.

Community Day | Stitching the Sea

Stitching the Sea is an ongoing program that explores climate issues affecting our Pacific communities. This program showcases the rich body of work by artists Latai Taumoepeau and Angela Tiatia.

How Refugee Artists Transformed Trauma into Art

We invited photographer and freelance journalist Abdul Hekmat to respond to Daneha (Seeds). Abdul is PhD candidate at UTS, where he explores refugee lived experiences through art and narrative writings.

Art Prize Advice | Jane Giblin

Jane Giblin – a Tasmania-based artist and winner of the 2016 Blacktown City Art Prize – offers advice to artists who are thinking about entering the Blacktown City Art Prize this year.

Art Prize Advice | Naomi Grant

Naomi Grant – a Perth-based artist and winner of the 2017 Aboriginal Artist Prize – offers advice to artists who are thinking about entering the Blacktown City Art Prize this year.

Opportunity | Tweet Seats

We are exploring new ways of connecting with our community, and ways for our community to connect with each other. For the first time ever, we are offering complimentary “tweet seats” to an event – the Sitaraha preview.

Interview | Khadim Ali

Internationally acclaimed, Blacktown-based artist Khadim Ali is exhibiting new work in our current exhibition Daneha. In this interview, he reflects on his journey as a Hazara artist living and working in Blacktown.

Announcement | 2018 Creative Arts Fund

19 local artists and community organisations can create new artwork and develop their creative skills with funding assistance through the Blacktown City Council 2018 Creative Arts Fund.

Blacktown City Art Prize | Frequently Asked Questions

Entries for the Blacktown City Art Prize will open on Tuesday 10 July 2018. Here are a few common questions and answers to consider when selecting artworks for the prize, including what kind of works you can enter.

Stitching the Sea

Blacktown Arts will showcase the rich body of work by artists Latai Taumoepeau and Angela Tiatia. Our communities will gather and experience how artists make works that address global warming.

Sitaraha | The Stars

Blacktown Arts presents the Australian premiere of Sitaraha, a moving one woman play about 3 generations of women living in Afghanistan who use song, dance and storytelling to keep their stories alive.

Make Art at Home | Caravans

Did you know Blacktown City Council collects art? Watch this fun video and make your own art at home inspired by Blacktown’s own collection of artworks!

Insight | Blacktown Native Institution

Jackie Dent joins artists and community members for the unveiling of new artworks at Ngara – Ngurangwa Byallara (Listen, Hear, Think – The Place Speaks) at the Blacktown Native Institution site.

Installation | ‘Star Seed’

‘Star Seed’ is a new work created by Nazanin Marashian with Afghan Women on the Move. This delicate artwork was installed over 2 days and is made of turmeric, paprika, cardamom, cinnamon, herbs and poppy seeds.

Daneha

In the first major engagement with our Afghan and Persian communities, Blacktown Arts presents Daneha, an artistic program of a visual arts, artist talks, musical performances and theatre.

NAIDOC Family Day 2018

NAIDOC is a special event in Blacktown, which is home to Australia’s largest urban Aboriginal population. It is a day of music and celebration; a day to remember Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contributions to our nation.

Program | Beats & Bites

The streets of the Blacktown CBD will come alive with a full day of live music on Thursday, 24 May 2018. ‘Bite’ your way through diverse cuisines and sample a curated music program of some of the region’s best artists.

Western Sydney Public Art Collections

Like most public art collections, Blacktown City Council’s collection tells the stories of our City through the work of artists. Western Sydney is home to many public art collections. Does your local Council have an art collection?

Announcement | Blacktown Native Institution site

New artworks by leading Australian contemporary artists will be unveiled at “Ngara – Ngurangwa Byallara (Listen, Hear, Think – The Place Speaks)” on the Blacktown Native Institution site on Saturday, 9 June 2018.

New works on symbolic Blacktown site

New works by Tony Albert, Sharyn Egan and Moogahlin Performing Arts aim to bring the spirit and culture of the Blacktown Native Institution site to life, and imagine a future for this important landmark.

Make Art at Home | Portraits

Did you know Blacktown City Council collects art? Watch this fun video and make your own art at home inspired by Blacktown’s own collection of artworks!

Opportunity | Creative Residency Program

Blacktown Arts is accepting new applications for two significant artist-in-residence opportunities: the Pat Parker Memorial Residency and Without Borders Residency. Applications close Thursday, 22 March 2018.

Announcement | 2018 Artists-in-Residence

Our artists-in-residence will explore their artistic practice, experiment with art forms and produce a range of new work at our Main Street Studios and The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

Recent Acquisitions: Blacktown City Art Collection

The ‘Recent Acquisitions’ exhibition presents new artworks purchased by Blacktown City Council between 2015 and 2017 that reflect Blacktown, its history and its communities.

Vonne Patiag on ‘TOMGIRL’

Vonne Patiag is a filmmaker whose roots lie here in Blacktown, as well as the Philippines. TOMGIRL is part of Queer for Short: Home Grown, a collection of short films by emerging local filmmakers that tell authentic stories of LGBTIQ experiences.

What is your destiny as an artist?

Inspired by the speech Leo Kelly OAM delivered at the opening of the 2004 Blacktown City Art Prize, we invited our visitors to share their own destinies as artists. Read some of the responses shared by our community.

THIS IS HOW WE MAKE ART | Artist Tins

We present an innovative program inspired by the cultural and physical landscape of Blacktown. But how do we make art? We asked out artists to share their processes, experiences and motivations.

Art in 8 Seconds

Have you seen any of our #artin8seconds videos? Follow our new hashtag to get your culture fix in itty bitty clips. You’ll be amazed at what an artist can share in next to no time at all …

Experiencing ‘Broken Glass’ with Vicki Van Hout

Vicki Van Hout joined us for the world premiere of ‘Broken Glass’. Read Vicki’s commentary on the entire experience, from the technical elements of production, to the most intimate moments shared between the cast and audience.

Broken Glass | World Premiere

Presented by Moogahlin Performing Arts and Blacktown Arts for Sydney Festival. ‘Broken Glass’ is a powerful installation and performance work that illuminates the rituals of death and mourning in NSW and Victorian First Peoples’ communities.

2017 Blacktown City Art Prize | People’s Choice – VOTE NOW

Have you voted for your favourite artwork in the 2017 Blacktown City Art Prize? Everyone is invited to visit @BlacktownCityArtPrize on Instagram to vote for their favourite artwork!

Broken Glass | Public Program

Presented alongside ‘Broken Glass’, Moogahlin Performing Arts and Blacktown Arts will host an artist talk, a discussion about death and bereavement presented by Joseph Medcalf Funeral Services and installation visits to St Bartholomew’s.

Holiday Season | Centre Closure Dates

The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre has closed for the year and will reopen to the public on Tuesday, 2 January 2018. Join us again in the New Year as we continue to make art inspired by the cultural and physical landscape of Blacktown!

Broken Glass | Shuttle Bus to St. Bartholomew’s

For those who have purchased tickets to the world premiere of ‘Broken Glass‘, there is strictly no parking on site at St. Bartholomew’s Church and Cemetery. A free wheelchair accessible shuttle bus will transport patrons from The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

Address in Honour of Leo Kelly OAM | Michelle Rowland MP

“To Leo Kelly, the promotion and stature of the arts in Blacktown, and in Western Sydney generally, was so much more. It was a statement about the calibre and creativity of our people”

2017 Blacktown City Art Prize Launch Keynote | Peter Filmer

At the launch of the 2017 Blacktown City Art Prize, and the official renaming ceremony of The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre, our colleague Peter Filmer OAM gave the keynote address.

Announcement | 2017 Blacktown City Art Prize Winners

The winners of the 2017 Blacktown City Art Prize have been announced! Congratulations to all of the winners in this year’s Prize. The exhibition of finalists closes on Saturday, 27 January 2018.

Viva la Democracy | Mahal Kita Future Bayan

How should we create the future? As part of their fiesta at Blacktown Arts Centre in September 2017, Mahal Kita Future Bayan, Sipat Lawin Ensemble invited all our visitors to cast their votes in ‘Dotmocracy’.

Insight | ‘Yanada’ with Jacinta Tobin

Local Darug artist Jacinta Tobin recently collaborated with the indie band The Preatures on their latest single ‘Yanada’. Watch the artists’ interview with SBS Viceland’s Marc Fennell.

Anino Shadowplay Collective | #artin8seconds

Anino Shadowplay Collective had 8 seconds to tell us about their plans for the All Souls Day closing event of ‘Balik Bayan’ on Thursday, 2 November 2017. Watch the clip and connect with Anino!

2017 Blacktown City Art Prize | Finalists

93 artworks have been selected for the 2017 Blacktown City Art Prize! The winners will be selected from this list of finalists, and announced at the official opening on Saturday, 2 December 2017.

Wingaru Byalla-Bada | Indigenous Language Project

Blacktown Arts will develop an innovative Indigenous language project thanks to $200,000 in funding from the Federal Department of Communications and the Arts. Wingaru Byalla-Bada is an Aboriginal-initiated and creatively driven project.

Announcement | Sydney Festival returns to Blacktown

Blacktown Arts, Moogahlin Performing Arts and Blacktown City Council present the world premiere of “Broken Glass” – a powerful installation and performance work – as part of Sydney Festival 2018.

What is Social Practice Art?

“Social practice art is seen as the antithesis of the art market because it cannot be owned, preserved, or exhibited easily.” Pablo Helguera. Writer Margaret Carrigan explores the intersection between social practice art and the art economy.

Sketches of a Filipino Universe

Journalist Jackie Dent spoke to exhibiting artists Marikit Santiago, Leeroy New and Alwin Reamillo about the personal and political themes that resonate through their work for ‘Balik Bayan’.

Archive | Democratic Garden

In the spring of 2014, Urban Theatre Projects and Blacktown Arts collaborated with Western Sydney residents to create a living installation called Democratic Garden using hundreds of plants that reflected the cultural diversity and demographics of Blacktown.

Portrait of the Filmmaker as a Filipino | Program

As part of the Balik Bayan program, Blacktown Arts presents a weekly film program that charts excellence in Filipino cinema including iconic films from the Second Golden Age and the New Independence.

2017 Blacktown City Art Prize | Call for Entries

Local, regional and national artists are invited to submit entries in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and mixed media. Applications close Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at 5 pm.

Sipat Lawin Ensemble | #artin8seconds

JK from Sipat Lawin Ensemble had 8 seconds to tell us about their major fiesta event, Mahal Kita Future Bayan, which was held at Blacktown Arts Centre in September 2017. Watch the clip and read more!

Leeroy New | #artin8seconds

We gave Leeroy New 8 seconds to tell us about the giant sculpture he created in Blacktown Arts Centre's carpark for Balik Bayan! Download the Balik Bayan program. This project…

Spring School Holiday Program

These school holidays, young artists will work together to construct a mini town, or “bario”, with artist Marikit Santiago!
*BOOKED OUT*

Insight | Bayanihan Hopping Spirit House

The Bayanihan Hopping Spirit House continues its journey, finding a new home at Blacktown Arts Centre as part of Balik Bayan. Listen to Ronald Manila’s podcast with its creator, Filipino-Artist Alwin Reamillo.

Balik Bayan | Program

Balik Bayan (7 September – 2 November 2017) – part of The Bayanihan Philippine Art Project – is a multi-art form and community celebration of Filipino culture. Download the program, so you don’t miss an event.

Applications open for 2018 Creative Residency Program

Our Creative Residency Program offers exciting opportunities for artists who want to engage with people or places in Blacktown. Applications close Thursday, 14 September 2017.

Artists-in-residence | Naomi McCarthy & Shirley Daborn

Artists Naomi McCarthy and Shirley Daborn, recipients of the 2017 Pat Parker Memorial Residency, talk about their project “Veil of Wishes” and their plan to collect people’s most secret desires.

Archive | Bent Western

Bent Western was a 2008 exhibition and performance program at Blacktown Arts Centre that featured works spanning 30 years from a selection of prominent queer artists from Sydney’s western suburbs.

2017 NAIDOC Family Fun Day

NAIDOC is a special event in Blacktown, which is home to the largest urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Australia. It’s a day where we celebrate the contribution of Aboriginal people to the wider nation by showcasing our talents within.

10 Places You’ll Find Art in Blacktown

Sometimes you find art in the most unlikely places … Let us take you on a tour to 10 of our city’s most creative corners from Bidwill Square to Nurragingy Reserve to Blacktown International Sportspark.

Meet The Team | Bee Cruse

Meet Bee Cruse, Community Engagement Coordinator at Solid Ground. Bee is a storyteller, born and bred on Cabrogal country (a clan within the Darug nation), and her family come from the Gomeroi, Wiradjuri and Monaroo-Yuin peoples of NSW.

Playlist | The Western Sydney Jam

We’ve started a collaborative Spotify playlist inspired by the Western Sydney Jam Session. Follow and collaborate with us. And join us at the next jam on Wednesday, 9 August 2017!

Artists-in-Residence | Katie Masonwells & Jocelyn Depamaylo

Meet artists and first-year university students, Katie Masonwells and Jocelyn Depamaylo, who used their time in the Main Street Studios to work on their project ‘Blacktown Storyboards’.

Artists-in-Residence | Cali Prince & Wendy McDougall

Cali Prince and Wendy McDougall are the recipients of a 2017 Space Residency. Engaged in a range of creative practices, collaboration is at the heart of their upcoming project, “Western Sydney 4th Space Residency (WS4S-R)”.

Archive | It’s Our Thing (Part I)

In 2016, Blacktown Arts Centre presented the first iteration of this exhibition series, which examined how the collaborative practices and styles of hip-hop culture influenced the work of contemporary artists Khaled Sabsabi and Minky Rawat.

Artist-in-residence | Leanne Tobin

Leanne Tobin is the recipient of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Creative Residency in 2017. While in residence, Leanne will be working on a new project called ‘Nurragingy the Man’.

It’s Our Thing | Chez

Watch graffiti artist Chez transform the metal seat in front of Blacktown Arts Centre as part of our current exhibition ‘It’s Our Thing: More History on Australian Hip-Hop (Part II)’.

Barbering | The Lifestyle and the Lessons

Our pop-up barbershop has closed, and we have said farewell to Charles and The Original 5, but you can find him working from his actual garage barbershop, or read our interview with Charles and Kiko on barbershop culture and lifestyle.

Exhibition | It’s Our Thing (Part II)

Western Sydney’s strong influence on the development of Australian hip-hop is showcased in our latest exhibition ‘It’s Our Thing: More History on Australian Hip-Hop (Part II)’ (22 June to 12 August 2017).

Insight | Pacific Bodies

Our colleagues across the ditch at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki invited local artists of Pacific heritage to offer a counter-narrative to the themes of their current exhibition ‘The Body Laid Bare: Masterpieces from Tate’. The result is ‘Pacific Bodies’.

Musician | Kealoana

Local musician Kealoana is a regular at the Western Sydney Jam Session with her trio, The Top Deck Band, and was recently awarded a 2017 Blacktown City Council Creative Arts Fund grant.

Insight | NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Week is a time of remembrance and celebration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that has its origins in early Aboriginal activism.

NAIDOC | Raymond Hand-Simms

In 2016, Raymond Hand-Simms took to the stage at Blacktown’s annual NAIDOC week celebrations and won the young talent contest. This year, he returns as part of the official performance line-up.

Announcement | 2017 Creative Arts Fund

20 local artists and community organisations can create new artwork, make original music and develop their creative skills with funding assistance through the Blacktown City Council 2017 Creative Arts Fund.

Archive | The Folding Wife

Produced by Urban Theatre Projects, The Folding Wife looks at an intergenerational struggle between three Filipina women – a grandmother, mother and daughter. Written by Paschal Daantos Berry and directed by Deborah Pollard.

Archive | The Native Institute

We look back at the 2013 exhibition ‘The Native Institute’ based on the history of the Blacktown Native Institution, featuring artists Daniel Boyd, r e a, Robyn Caughlan, Karla Dickens, Leanne Tobin and Jason Wing.

Artist-in-Residence | Tina Barahanos

In 2015, Tina Barahanos was an artist-in-residence at the Main Street Studios, Blacktown. Two years on, we caught up with Tina to reflect on her experience of the program.

Artist-in-Residence | Rhonda Dee

Visual artist Rhonda Dee is about to begin her residency at the Main Street Studios. We caught up with Rhonda to talk about the major themes of her practice, and the project she’ll be undertaking during her time in Blacktown.

Exhibition | Balik Bayan

Six key Sydney cultural institutions present a multi-arts program showcasing the contemporary art and cultural practices of the Philippines. It is one of the most significant explorations of Filipino art ever presented in Australia.

Art | Get your Blacktown City Art Collection bookmarks

We have produced a series of bookmarks with Blacktown City Libraries featuring artworks acquired by Blacktown City Council. Choose your favourite, or collect all 10 when you visit the Centre or your nearest library.

Garage Tunes with Charles Lomu

If you’ve visited Charles at the pop-up barbershop at Blacktown Arts Centre (or the one in his actual garage), you’ll be familiar with his fine taste in music. Listen to Charles’ soul and RnB playlists on Spotify.

TRACKS | A Western Sydney Hip-Hop Project

Blacktown Arts Centre, FBi Radio and MusicNSW present Tracks – A Western Sydney Hip-Hop Project. We’re kicking things off with a free party on Saturday, 3 June 2017, headlined by some of hip-hop’s brightest rising stars.

Artist-in-Residence | Sarah Dahia

In March we met with one of our 2017 Creative Residents, Sarah Dahia, to see what she’s been creating at the Main Street Studios as she reconnects with her artistic practice.

Cuts, Fades & Shades with Charles Lomu

Visitors to Blacktown Arts Centre can make an appointment for a free cut, fade or shave by Charles Lomu and the ‘Original 5’ Tuesday-Saturday during the Garage Barbershop exhibition.

Artist-in-residence | Lorraine Simiana

During the first week of her studio residency with Blacktown Arts Centre, we met Lorraine Simiana and got an insight into her practice: processes, restrictions and motivations.

Montages: The Full Cut 1999-2015 | Where to next?

If you missed the exhibition at Blacktown Arts Centre, chances are you’ll get to see it again! Montages: The Full Cut, 1999 – 2015 is touring nationally over the next three years thanks to Artspace, Sydney and Museums & Galleries of NSW.

Musicians | The Western Sydney Jam Session

The Western Sydney Jam Session brings together some of the biggest talents from across Western Sydney. Meet some of the multi-talented musicians we’ve discovered on the journey so far …

Exhibition | Garage Barbershop

Local, self-taught barber Charles Lomu throws open his garage door for a multi-faceted project that explores notions of how men build community and identity in the sacred space of the neighbourhood barbershop.

Blacktown 2016 | This is how we make art

Watch a short compilation of highlights from our 2016 program, with an audio recording of Ursula Yovich performing her song, Bring them Home, live at Blacktown’s 2016 NAIDOC Week Celebrations.

Opportunities | Solid Ground

Two fantastic opportunities are available through our Solid Ground project: a paid internship at Klub Koori and free arts workshop at the National Arts School for Year 10 students.

Interview | Garage Barbershop

Did you catch Charles Lomu talking to Patrick Abboud on The Feed SBS VICELAND? Charles, a self-taught local barber and all-round good guy, and his 5 apprentices feature in our next exhibition Garage Barbershop.

Interview | Shakira Clanton

If you saw Home Country, you’ll remember her as the beautiful “Blacktown Angel”, who sits dangling her legs over the edge of the carpark, singing in Darug language. Learn more about rising star Shakira Clanton in this NITV interview.

FUNPARK

On Saturday, 22 April 2017, FUNPARK returns to Bidwill for the fourth consecutive year. Join the community and artists for a family-focused festival that re-imagines Bidwill Square with live entertainment, activities and food!

Announcement | 2017 Creative Residency Program

A selection of local, national and international artists from different art forms will be hosted at Blacktown Arts Centre and the Main Street art studios throughout the year as part of the Creative Residency Program.

Review | Montages: The Full Cut, 1999-2015

This suite of montage films, produced over 16 years of collaboration between Tracey Moffatt and Gary Hillberg, present a rare opportunity to get film-schooled by an inspired pairing of iconoclastic artist and editor.

Exhibition | I Am, You Are, We Are, They Are

Curator Tian Zhang, who recently worked with us as a producer on Home Country, brings together a group of talented young artists in a new exhibition at the Peacock Gallery in Auburn.

Archive | The Good, The Bad & The In-between

In a new feature, we look back at some of our most significant programs, starting with 2013 exhibition by two of the region’s most celebrated Aboriginal artists: Thaya Giwiirr (Jake Soewardie) and Yatama Nigimali (Danny Eastwood).

Exhibition | Flux

Mehwish Iqbal’s first solo show at .M Contemporary includes the powerful work “Force Field of Complex Journeys”, commissioned as part of the “Diaspora-Making Machines” exhibition at Blacktown Arts Centre in 2016.

Montages: The Full Cut, 1999 – 2015

Blacktown Arts Centre transforms its gallery space into a cinema to showcase the work of one of Australia’s most influential contemporary artists Tracey Moffatt, and her long-time collaborator Gary Hillberg .

Glenn Lumanta releases his debut EP

This talented local musician – a regular at The Western Sydney Jam Session at Blacktown Arts Centre – has just released his debut album. Check it out on SoundCloud.

Congratulations | Susannah Williams & Warren Armstrong

Congratulations to Susannah Williams & Warren Armstrong, winners of Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre’s Paramor Prize: Art + Innovation 2017 for their interactive installation, Listening Device VII: Felt Histories.

The Western Sydney Jam Session

After the success of The West Sessions in 2016, singers and musicians are invited to bring their instruments back to Blacktown Arts Centre for The Western Sydney Jam Session this February.

Applications open for the 2017 Creative Arts Fund

Would you like to explore creative collaborations, experiment with new art forms or pursue professional development opportunities? Achieve your artistic goals with funding assistance through the Blacktown City Council Creative Arts Fund.

Celebrate summer in the Blacktown CBD

To celebrate the world premiere of Home Country in Colo Lane, we are making the surrounding streets come alive with live entertainment, installations and projections.

Announcement | 2016 Blacktown City Art Prize Winners

2016 is a record-breaking year for women in the Blacktown City Art Prize, with all 6 prizes awarded to female artists, or predominantly female collectives.

$20 tickets to Home Country

Do you live, work or study in the Blacktown area? You can get tickets to Home Country for just $20 (save $39)! Book now – a limited number of local tickets are available.

Exhibition | Blank Slate

As Blacktown Studio Artists Collective launch their inaugural exhibition Blank Slate, arts activist and author Katherine Knight introduces the underlying themes and histories uniting its members.

Announcement | 2016 Blacktown City Art Prize Finalists

The judges have selected 92 artworks to be exhibited in the 2016 Blacktown City Art Prize. See the complete list of 2016 finalists. The winning works will be announced on Friday, 2 December 2016.

Exhibiting Artist | Nerine Martini (Part 2)

Nerine Martini discusses the joys and challenges of creating large scale public commissions, and how she facilitates the process of community participation in her creative projects.

Exhibiting Artist | Nerine Martini

Diaspora-Making Machines is an exhibition that explores the systemic devices (the machines) that generate movement and the dispersal of communities (the diaspora). Nerine Martini discusses how migration and its aftermath is a central theme in her work.

Simply Voices

Blacktown’s own community choir is a group of spirited seniors who love to sing – and do it beautifully. Longtime members Ken and Marjorie Freeman explain how a sense of fulfillment and friendship are important elements of the group’s success.

Announcement | 2016 Creative Arts Fund

The Creative Arts Fund is an initiative of Blacktown City Council which provides grants of up to $3000 to encourage artistic endeavours in the region. 17 local artists and community organisations will receive funding assistance in 2016.

Artist-In-Residence | Nazanin Marashian (Part 2)

Have you submitted an application for our 2017 Creative Residency Program? Nazanin Marsharian discusses how her Main Street studio residency – and Blacktown’s thriving creative community – is influencing her return to art-making.

Do you have a question about the Blacktown City Art Prize?

Does my artwork need to be framed? What is a D-ring? Do I need to provide a plinth for my sculpture? What is the maximum size my artwork can be? We’ve got the answers to all your questions about the Blacktown City Art Prize.

2016 Blacktown City Art Prize

Now in its 21st year, the Blacktown City Art Prize is one of the most respected art prizes in Western Sydney, with cash prizes of $20,000 and acquisitive awards. Artists are invited to submit entries for drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and mixed media.

One Day For Peace on ABC TV

Filmed in homes, prayer houses and even from the back seat of a taxi, the powerful documentary One Day For Peace was screened in public locations across Western Sydney last September. You can watch it from your home this Saturday. Don’t miss it.

This Is How We Make Art

Sharing the dynamic, culturally diverse artwork that reflects Blacktown, its history and its communities, and the inspiring artists who make it, this is a place for exchanging information and a home for important discussion.

2017 Creative Residency Program

Blacktown Arts Centre’s Creative Residency Program supports artistic development and emerging arts practices in all forms. Successful applicants will be announced in December.

Stitching (up) the Sea

Artist-provocateur Latai Taumoepeau and co-curator Paschal Daantos Berry reflect on the intention and impact of this rigorous performance season with dancer and choreographer Martin del Amo.

Artist-In-Residence | Nazanin Marashian

During her residency in our Main Street Studio, Nazanin Marashian explores the significance of numbers in a series of non-traditional portraits inspired by encounters in nearby Blacktown mall.

Solid Ground

A long-term partnership with Carriageworks is providing pathways into the arts and cultural industries, and creating meaningful change in the lives of young Indigenous people.

Street Level

Kon Gouriotis reflects on the history of Street Level – Western Sydney’s first artist-run initiative – as provocation for the exhibition It’s Our Thing: More History on Australian Hip-Hop.

It’s Timely Too

Visual artist Shan Turner-Carroll explores Gough Whitlam’s influence in a series of self-portraits for It’s Timely Too, a Blacktown Arts Centre touring exhibition.