Intriguing art programs on this summer

Looking to entertain and engage your family this summer? ArtsHub has compiled a list of the most interesting art programs being unlocked over the holiday break.
Intriguing art programs on this summer

Image: MKids Redesign MPavilion with Minecraft on at MPavilion, free event starts Sat 6 Jan 2018, 10.00am–12.30pm. Image via MPavilion.

The summer months are the most opportune time for everyone to explore and engage with art. If you are travelling around Australia, or spending your break locally, there are a few fascinating programs on offer near you.

ArtsHub takes a look at the most fun-filled programs kicking off this summer for you and your family to enjoy.


 Image: William Dampier, A new voyage around the world … (London, Printed for James Knapton, at the Crown in St Pauls Church-yard, 1699), John Emmerson Collection, Rare Books Collection, State Library Victoria.

The State Library in Victoria is currently going through an $88.1 M major redevelopment which will see several significant changes including two new contemporary spaces being built. Though the renovations are underway the library has seen some major foot-traffic due in part to some interesting programs on offer.  


One of the programs being the World of the Book Exhibition on until the 14 October. The exhibition is free and tracks the extraordinary history of writing, books and book design. Hundreds of items, some as old as 4,000 years will be on display including one of the world’s most valuable printed books; medieval manuscripts illuminated with gold and precious pigments; an ancient clay tablet from Mesopotamia time period; the great works of literature, science and exploration; striking artists’ books and even Australian pulp fiction and comics. Many of the books have never been exhibited before.

State Library Curator Des Cowley said, 'This is an exhibition that holds a mirror to the world around us and lets us experience the richness of the written human story.'

World of the Book is located in the State Library’s Dome Galleries overlooking the stunning La Trobe Reading Room. The library is open Monday to Thursday 10am–9pm and Friday to Sunday 10am–6pm.

Image: Tin & Ed: Inflatable Futures on Mon 8 Jan – Sun 14 Jan 2018, 9.00am–4.00pm. Photo (c) Sean Fennessy.

The January and February 2018 program for MPavilion has been released and the lineup features free cultural and design events, including talks and installations under the pavilion, (which was designed by renowned international architects Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of OMA).

Some of the interesting offerings features a week-long celebration of play, including a pop-up residency from Westside Circus with workshops for kids and Tin&Ed’s Inflatable Futures (pictured above) combining the joy of bouncy castles with beguiling sculptural form.

Other highlights on at MPavilion is an installation of Swings envisioned by MPavilion 2017 architects OMA / Rem Koolhaas & David Gianotten; a responsive installation of custom-made interventions, Foamy Feeling, by UK-based duo Soft Baroque; plus the return of Caitlin Franzmann’s botanical tarot sessions, Tree-telling.

To learn more about the hundreds of free events presented at MPavilion 2017, visit:

Image: A young family gets creative with Fiona Hall’s Who Lives Here? collage workshop. Photo (c) NGV. Supplied.

This program travels to you. The NGV Kids on Tour program is back on for 2018 for its fifth iteration. The tour encourages children and families across Victoria, from Gippsland through to Wodonga, to participate in free activities and workshops. Including paper collage workshops and portrait illustrations, the program aims to connect local communities with the NGV’s summer exhibition program and enjoy time together at their local gallery or community venue.

Next year aims to be NGV’s most expansive yet with more than 50 venues in the metropolitan and regional Victoria area hosting the event for their local community. Some of the workshops on offer will be: Everybody Draw, where kids and teens are invited to create their own portrait masterpiece; Everybody Play, board game challenges participants to a series of trivia questions, drawing activities and impromptu performances, and many more.

Image: A selection of Who Lives Here?collage artworks from young NGV visitors.  Photo (c) NGV. Supplied.

The NGV Kids on Tour initiative will be held throughout the 2018 school holidays in January. Families are encouraged to check the website: to locate the nearest venue where they can participate in the free workshops and activities.


The Art Gallery NSW encourages young people and families to join in on their summer programs available in 2018. This summer the gallery is host to the incredible artworks of the Dutch Masters and the children's workshops have been tailored to incorporate this extraordinary exhibition, opening up the masterpieces to a younger audience.

Some of the interesting workshops for 2018 are:

Image (c) Art Gallery NSW.

Drawing workshop: Sketch it, open to children from age eight, artist and illustrator Rocco Fazzari will guide the group on a path through the gallery exploring paintings and sculptures. With pencils and paper, Fazzari will show participants simple and fun techniques to draw people and objects.

Image (c) Art Gallery NSW.

Children’s access workshop: Rembrandt and the Dutch golden age is a free artmaking workshop for children with specific needs, their families and carers. This workshop provides an opportunity for children to connect with sensory arrangements of still life to express their own creativity in a fun and encouraging way. This workshop is on Wednesday 17 January 2018, 11am.

Image (c) Art Gallery NSW.

Family workshop: Fun with paper is a school holiday activity is specifically aimed at children aged 5-8. This workshop allows young children to exploring the gallery for inspiration and then enables them to create colourful collages. This workshop is available Wednesday 17 & Friday 19 January, 10.30am.

Another not-to-miss program in NSW is Learn & Play! teamLab Future Park at Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. ArtsHub's Visual Arts writer, Gina Fairley reviewed the exhibition, she said, 'Powerhouse Museum’s summer exhibition delights at any age, with its immersive digital playground too fun to leave to just the kids. 

'Its success is not surprising – the exhibition’s eight interactive light-sound installations are captivating as they evolve in real time and in response to human interactions. teamLab’s founder, Toshiyuki Inoko told ArtsHub the public reaction is different every time. In Japan the parents stood formally back, while in Latin America the parents were in there fighting over the crayon colours with the kids.'

Read review: Learn & Play! teamLab Future Park

Learn & Play! teamLab Future Park exhibition is open now until 30 April 2018. This interactive adventure designed by Japanese collective teamLab, explores colour and technology from interactive installations to exploring light and sound with giant colourful musical balls. 


Image: On Stage program via Adelaide Festival Centre. 

In South Australia the program, On Stage is a hugely popular two-week Performing Arts program for ages 8-16 years that encourages and cultivates children's confidence through performance. 

Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre, this program is for young people wanting to explore singing, acting or dancing. Unfortunately the 2018 program is fully booked, but if your child is interested registration for 2019 is now underway, and you can contact Adelaide Festival for further information. 

Image: Participants in Carclew Explore Arts Summer Program. Photo (c) Carclew.

Carclew, situated in North Adelaide, offers a summer program throughout January – there are full day and half-day creative activities for kids aged 5-17 years on offer.

Some of the activities are: Mash-Up Portraits, participants will use collaged images, coloured paper, pencils, pastels and more to create a series of experimental portraits inspired by the works of Pablo Picasso. Another program is aimed at young children ages 5-12; Collograph Creatures, running on 18 January, explores textures by using flat materials like leaves, sandpaper and textiles. 

Another initiative by Carclew is Stage Sparks. Available to 5-12 year olds over the school holiday period, Stage Sparks Summer Intensive is a free performance workshop that will be happening at The Arts Centre, Port Noarlunga in January 2018.

The workshops occur over three days covering theatre, singing, dance and circus skills. Stage Sparks will encourage kids to explore their imaginations and express themselves creatively whilst also developing their confidence. To learn more head to:


Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art enables children's participation with the arts with their Children's Art Centre

The Children's Art Centre works with artists to create interactive installations, artist projects and activities for kids and families throughout the year, bust especially in the summer months. QAGOMA also offer Toddler Tuesday, a free booked program which uses games, storytelling and making activities to encourage play and engagement in toddlers.

Image: QAGOMA's Yayoi Kusama, The Obliteration Room. Photo (c) QAGOMA.

One of the two summer exhibitions on offer for young people are: Yayoi Kusama: The Obliteration Room. This exhibition is free and available to children of all ages. This sensory exploration invites children to enter the world of leading contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and essentially destroy, or 'obliterate' an Australian domestic space by adding colourful dot stickers to white furniture, objects and surfaces in the large-scale interactive installation: The obliteration room. The installation is a dynamic artwork that transforms over time as hundreds of thousands of dots accumulate in the space.


Fremantle Arts Centre offer a myriad of kids courses and activities this summer. Worth noting is Kids Intro to the Pottery Wheel on at 10 January, and Cut, Paste & Animate a program that uses computers and video cameras to create an animated story onscreen.

Read: Youth Arts the WA way

Image: FAC's program Enchanted Elephants – Sewing. Photo (c) Fremantle Arts Centre.

Another fun activity provided by Fremantle Arts Centre is Enchanted Elephants – Sewing, aimed at children aged 9-12. Running on Wednesday 10 January this program encourages the creative and skilful art of stitching. Children will be shown how to hand sew Indian felt elephants, and develop some basic sewing skills. To learn more visit:

Staff writer

Friday 22 December, 2017

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