Call for local artists to paint the town red and vie for two new art awards

Female artist standing on a ladder painting on board with pink grey and white paint.
Nancy Downes painting at SALA in the Square. Photography by Cath Leo

Local artists have just a few weeks left to register for the 2017 South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival, with exhibition registrations for the August event closing Monday, May 15.

Call for local artists to paint the town red and vie for two new art awards in SALA’s 20th anniversary year

Local artists have just a few weeks left to register for the 2017 South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival, with exhibition registrations for the August event closing Monday, May 15.

And local business owners are also being encouraged to list their venues as exhibition spaces, using the SALA website to match with an artist wanting to show their works during the month-long festival.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the 2017 SALA Festival is an innovative, open-access visual arts festival celebrating and promoting the diverse talents of South Australian living artists.

Encompassing all forms of visual art from painting, sculpture and jewellery to video, multimedia and much more, the festival presents the works of thousands of established and emerging artists in hundreds of spaces throughout metropolitan and regional South Australia every August.

Artists and venue owners wishing to participate in this year’s festival are encouraged to use the SALA website to find their perfect art-to-art match, with venues seeking artists listed at and artists seeking venues listed at

Some of the interesting and unique exhibition spaces currently available include Glenelg cinema GU Film HouseChateau Yaldara winery in the Barossa and even Port Adelaide tattoo parlour Black Diamond Tattoos, as well as many cafes, pubs, restaurants and galleries.

Registration also makes artists eligible to enter in the 2017 SALA Awards, with more than $38,000 in cash and prizes to be won across eight categories, including The Advertiser Contemporary Art Prize, the Unitcare Services Moving Image Award for multimedia and video artists, the City of Unley Active Ageing Award for artists over 60 and The City Rural Emerging Artist Award.

For the first time this year SALA will partner with the Royal South Australian Society of Arts to present the Third RSASA Biennial Portrait Prize Exhibition (July 30 to August 27), featuring total cash prizes up to $22,250.

Also new this year is the Patron’s Art Writer’s Award for excellence in visual arts writing, with the winner receiving a trip to Berlin for a one month residency at international art complex Phasmid Studios. This award is open to writers from anywhere in the world who write about South Australian living artists, and nominations close at the end of August. Nominations for all other SALA Award categories are open until May 24.

SALA Festival Director Penny Griggs said being a part of SALA provided many advantages for both emerging and established artists.

“Since  the SALA Festival’s inception in 1998, August has become known as South Australia’s visual arts month, where artists of all skill levels are celebrated and acknowledged. The event offers emerging artists a platform to exhibit outside of their training institution, and established local gallery spaces make an annual commitment to South Australian artists,” she said.

“It might be cold outside, but thanks to SALA, winter is the hottest time of year for South Australian artists to showcase their work and connect with new audiences.”

Exhibition registrations are open to artists of all types, backgrounds and experience levels, with the only requirement being they must be a current resident of South Australia. Registering is quick and easy with SALA’s online form: just go to and click the “Register Today” button.

Now in its 20th year, the SALA Festival was launched in 1998 by Paul Greenaway OAM (Director, Greenaway Art Gallery) and Sam Hill-Smith (Director, Hill-Smith Fine Art Gallery) through the Australian Commercial Galleries Association (ACGA).

Originally called SALA Week, the event was established to develop audiences and create opportunities for South Australian artists, and in its first year featured exhibitions in 41 venues. Since then it has grown exponentially to become a month-long celebration of local art throughout the state, last year presenting the works of more than 4,600 artists in 630 free exhibitions across 570 venues.

Some of Australia’s most exciting and dynamic artists, both established and emerging, are represented in the 2017 program, due to be released July 8.

The 2017 SALA Festival runs from August 1 to 31. For more information, go to

Artists and exhibition organisers register at

See a list of venues seeking artists at

See a list of artists seeking venues at

Contact Publicist Petra Starke on 0407 799 907 or email [email protected]

Twitter & Instagram: @SALAFestival
Official hashtag: #SALAFestival