2021 South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival starts this weekend!

Roy-Ananda-Untitled-2006-(detail)-photo-by-Steph-FullerThe South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival 2021 starts this Sunday with a record number of 9,167 artists participating this year in over 600 exhibitions across Adelaide and regional SA.

Now in its 24th year, SALA will run from 1 – 31 August and is the largest open-access visual arts festival in Australia and the world. There will be exhibitions throughout South Australia and online celebrating the talents of South Australians from those exhibiting for the first time to more established artists.

“SALA 2021 is forging ahead largely unchanged and we are immensely proud and pleased we have been able to do this for South Australian artists and the South Australian community more generally,” said SALA CEO Kate Moskwa.

“Through visual art we can connect and celebrate our resilience and ingenuity, and we can do that safely over the entirety of August and this year, into September as we support exhibitions that have adjusted due to recent circumstances.”

“We are thrilled to launch SALA Festival 2021, and hope that all South Australian’s get out and enjoy the connections, creativity and inspiration that our artists are sharing this year,” said Moskwa.

Download the SALA app to plan your SALA experience, you can find exhibitions in your local neighbourhood including cafés, businesses, schools, churches, private homes, cultural institutions, galleries, libraries, wineries, retirement villages and public spaces.

Whether you’re wanting to visit a particular region of SA or have an interest in a specific discipline like sculpture, painting, photography, ceramics, performance, textiles, filmmaking, you can create your very own favourites list of exhibitions to see throughout the month of August.

Enjoy a variety of exhibitions from traditional and contemporary to the unique like the Fake Record Shop at Urban Cow Studio in the city or maybe go hunting for the mythical Hidden Creatures placed in locations throughout the Barossa created by the Nuriootpa High School arts students.

For the first time, this year there will be a Regional SALA weekend held in the Port Pirie Region on 14 & 15 August in partnership with the Port Pirie Council including exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations and artist activations.

SALA’s Bilingual Hosted Tours include Franglais (French and English) and Korean. And if you’d like to visit beautiful regional South Australia you can hop on one of the bus tours to Adelaide Hills, the Barossa, McLaren Vale or Encounter Bay.

There are public programs like the Participatory Tours: Blind conTOUR with artist Fran Callen who will show you some SALA exhibitions through the city while drawing between stops; and a photographic tour with Tony Kearney around Port Adelaide.

Or try one of the Walking Tours: Introduction to Contemporary Art with artist Dr Melanie Cooper; First Nations Tour with artist Thomas Readett; The Hydrated Curators Tour; and Lord Mayor Tour with Sandy Verschoor.

There are also opportunities to hear from the artists themselves on tours, at the SALA Slide Night on 19 August at Nexus Arts, and via the SALA Podcast which features interviews and artists discussing their work, inspiration and creative lives.

Meet local artists and visit their work spaces on the Open Studio Weekend 7 – 8 August, there are additional open studios throughout the festival in a number of regions. Don’t miss the SALA Art Cars out on Adelaide’s streets during this year’s festival, generously provided by Jarvis Skoda and wrapped in artwork by Suzie Riley and Cedric Varcoe.

SALA’s featured artist for 2021 is Roy Ananda – a visual artist, writer and educator. Since 2001 Roy has exhibited prolifically around Australia and in 2018 Roy presented a major new work in the 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Roy completed his Masters by Research at the University of South Australia with a specific focus on the intersection of pop-culture fandom and contemporary art practice.

As SALA’s featured artist Roy’s work appears on the cover of the 2021 SALA Festival program and poster and he’s commemorated in the official 2021 South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Publication, funded by Arts South Australia and published by Wakefield Press penned by curator Andrew Purvis, best-selling speculative fiction author Sean Williams and emerging writer Bernadette Klavins.

Roy’s Supreme Library exhibition will be at Adelaide Central Gallery from 10 August and Further Annotations exhibition is at the Art Gallery of South Australia until 19 September 2021.

When out and about visiting SALA exhibitions please ensure to adhere to COVID guidelines. Social distancing rules apply, the wearing of masks and the COVID safe check-in is mandatory to gain entry to venues. People are asked to stay home if feeling unwell.

The South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival 2021 runs 1 – 31 August. For more information and full program, visit: www.salafestival.com for details.

Image: Roy Ananda, Untitled, 2006 (detail) – photo by Steph Fuller