Gallery nights for under-18s: what happens when young people take over?

Far from sugar-highs for party-going teens, these gallery-going young audiences want meaningful creative connections.

It’s 6pm on a Saturday night and the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is about to open its doors to 1000 13- to 18-year-olds – welcoming them (and only them) to its ground floor spaces, where they will let loose and roam free.

There’s a DJ and dance floor in the Great Hall, the café space has become a salon/workshop where hairstyling and art-making happens. A selfie photo booth has been set up nearby and the ground floor major exhibition spaces are open.

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ArtsHub's Arts Feature Writer Jo Pickup is based in Perth. An arts writer and manager, she has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for media such as the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian newspaper, contributing media content and commentary on art, culture and design. She has also worked for arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre, STRUT dance, and the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA, as well as being a sessional arts lecturer at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).