Blacktown City Council has commissioned local Western Sydney artist Cameron Marbus to design and paint new murals to express the vibrancy and energy of the Riverstone youth precinct in Riverstone Park. The…
Magnify – get to know Vishnu from Agal Dance Company
In our final Magnify artist introduction, Vishnu Arunasalam, Director of Agal Dance Company, shares a life packed with dance, work and pandemics. Managing a busy company of talented health professionals…
In conversation with Jeremy Goldstein – founder and creator of Truth to Power Café
The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre is bringing an internationally-acclaimed performance event to Blacktown this September. Truth to Power Café is a theatrical reflection on loss, hope and resistance. It…
ARTIST CALL OUT Front Up Studios EMERGE 2021 PROGRAM For emerging Western Sydney artists The EMERGE program is an access driven and disability-led program focused on supporting artists with disability,…
Traditional painter, carver and designer Faraimo Paulo of Tokelau is on a mission to record his people’s history and culture. Tokelau is made up of 3 coral atolls, Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo, 500km north of Western Samoa.…
The Smith Family is providing the opportunity for high school students to take part in free workshops with Bangarra Dance Theatre, Australia’s leading First Nations dance company. Bangarra’s Youth Program…
A huge congratulations to Brian Fuata, who has won the prestigious 2020 ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art. Brian was one of four international artists/collectives shortlisted for the prize,…
Meet Thomas Fienberg, 2020 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award Nominee
A huge congratulations to Thomas Fienberg from Evans High School who has been nominated for the 2020 ARIA Music Teacher Award! Thomas has been instrumental in running our Solid Ground program, and making a…
We're thrilled to announce the judges for the 2020 Blacktown City Art Prize. This year, we welcome Kyra Kum-Sing (Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative), Cath Barcan (Nepean Arts & Design Centre, TAFE…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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.…
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.…
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 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.
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,…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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’.
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.
“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.
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.
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 (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.
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.
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 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.
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)”.
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.
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.
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).
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.