The 25th South Australian Living Artists Festival has officially opened!

2022-SALA-Featured-Artist-Mark-Valenzuela--BIENNIAL-Installation-photo-by-Saul-SteedCelebrating its 25th year the 2022 South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival has officially opened running until 31 August across Adelaide and regional South Australia. SALA continues to be the largest open-access visual arts festival in the world and this year boasts 648 events and a record number of 11,865 artists participating in 585 venues.

For the full month of August South Australians can enjoy the boundless creativity of local artists in a variety of settings from their local neighbourhoods, galleries, schools, libraries, community spaces, retirement villages, retail spaces, hospitality venues and businesses.

SALA has grown significantly since it began in 1998, each year showcasing more artists at all stages of their creative journey, from first timers through to more established artists. From one year to the next, spaces are transformed, new materials used and innovative techniques introduced.

With a broad range of disciplines including painting, sculpture, moving image, installation, drawing, ceramics, SALA provides a platform during winter for people to discover the talented creatives in our community and explore the rich and diverse art being produced by these artists.

“South Australian’s can be proud of SALA’s 25th anniversary – the festival which turns our beautiful State into one big gallery and celebrates the identity of SA through our very own artists,” said Kate Moskwa, SALA CEO.

“There are so many ways to enjoy the SALA Festival, book into a workshop, join a tour, grab some friends and make your own trail through the regions, and finding new or beloved SA artists in the program. Embrace and engage with visual arts this winter and get to know the incredible creative talent our State has to offer.”

Highlights of this year’s festival include:

  • SALA HUB – To mark the 25th anniversary SALA is introducing the new SALA Hub at the Queen’s Theatre in the city. This iconic venue will run from 18 – 31 August, hosting a range of events.
  • SILVER – celebrating the significant milestone of SALA’s 25th anniversary a curatorial circle was invited to propose South Australian artists whose work, for them, embodies the values and legacy of the States’ iconic festival. Featured artists include Roy Ananda, Kirsten Coelho, Margaret Dodd, Tsering Hannaford, Sue Kneebone, Juanella McKenzie, Ian North, Christopher Orchard, Tom Phillips, Sonya Rankine, Darren Siwes, James Tylor, Angela Valamanesh, Sera Waters and Laura Wills. Curatorial lead Carollyn Kavanagh.
  • Drawing Marathon led by Christopher Orchard. For the first time SALA and Adelaide Central School of Art are co-presenting the Drawing Marathon, led by SA luminary Christopher Orchard – who is one of the leading exponents of the drawn image in Australia and is well recognised by his peers nationally, in Europe and the United States. 20 – 24 August.
  • Masterclass in Classical Realism – led by Rob Gutteridge, in this Masterclass, students responding to the figure will be shown how realist drawings are developed in a skills-based training atelier. Explore the role of percept and concept in academic life drawing with a master of anatomy, structure and form. 26 August: 9.30am – 4.30pm.

Workshops – there are a number of workshops with some of Adelaide’s leading artists:

  • Jewellery: Lost-wax casting with Erin Daniells. Erin is a contemporary jeweller and visual artist whose works explore the concept of beauty and imperfection. Participants will create a unique silver ring using the lost-wax casting process. 27 August: 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Photography: Light Painting with Denis Smith. Light painting artist Denis Smith leads a hands-on workshop creating magical light sculptures. 27 August: 1:30 – 4:30pm
  • Drawing: Portrait Drawing with Jasmine Crisp. Jasmine is an emerging artist based in Adelaide working primarily in painting and drawing.  28 August: 1.30 – 4.30pm
  • Ceramics: Votive Vessels with Sam Gold. Participants will make either an oil burner or a wall mounted ritual-based object, using traditional methods in a contemporary way. 29 August: 6.00pm – 9.00pm

Guided Walking Tours – don’t miss the chance to hear from expert artist tour guides as they walk (or scoot) you through a selection of exhibitions in the City of Adelaide.

  • Understanding Contemporary Art: This tour is for anyone who’s ever thought ‘my kid could have done that’ when looking at art. Join artist Dr Melanie Cooper for an opportunity to appreciate the incredible contemporary artwork being created by South Australian artists today. 13 & 20 August.
  • First Nations Art Tour: Join artist Thomas Readett on a tour of SALA exhibitions taking place in Tarntanya (Adelaide) featuring work from First Nations artists. 13 August: 11.00am – 12.00pm & 1.00 – 2.00pm.
  • Street Art Tour: Join artist Leah Grant on this tour of street art by South Australian artists in Adelaide. Saturday’s tour is on foot and Sunday the tour is by scooter – provided free of charge from Beam. 27 August: 1.00pm – 3.00pm: walking | 28 August: 1.00pm – 3.00pm: scooter
  • SALA Art Tour in Farsi: Join artist Elyas Alavi on this walking tour of art exhibitions in Adelaide. Run in collaboration with ARTA, this tour is presented in Farsi. 19 August: 10.30am – 12.00pm
  • SALA Art Tour in Mandarin: Join artist Jingwei Bu on this walking tour of exhibitions in Adelaide. Presented in Mandarin, this tour is sure to stop by Nexus Arts where Jingwei is exhibiting. 15 August: 10.00am.

SALA Slide Night – A night of fun and frivolity, hear from South Australian artists about their art, interests, or something else entirely. Far from your grandma’s slide night, this event is a fast-paced snapshot into what South Australian contemporary artists are thinking about. Featured artists include Troy-Anthony Baylis, Frances Barrett, Ashleigh Keller, Emma Young, Denis Smith and more! 25 August: 6.00 – 9.00pm.

SHOP SALA – Another new initiative is Shop SALA, an exciting new digital platform where people can discover South Australian artists and buy their art direct. The platform aims to support and celebrate our talented local artists during the festival and beyond with the platform running as a year-round offering.

OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND – SA artists open their studios to the public on 6 & 7 August as part of the SALA Festival Open Studios Weekend. It’s a great opportunity for a behind-the-scenes experience, to meet local artists and gain an insight into their creative process, whether they are part of a group studio or working from a home-studio. There are additional open studios throughout the festival in a number of regions. Check out the SALA Program to find out which studios are open near you.

REGIONAL SELF-GUIDED TOURS – Nominate a driver and head off on your own SALA day trip to the Adelaide Hills, Barossa, City of Onkaparinga, Encounter Bay, Murraylands and the Limestone Coast, visit the SALA website for more details.

SALA’s featured artist for 2022 is Mark Valenzuela with his unique style featured on the cover of the 2022 SALA Festival program and poster. He has also been commemorated in the official 2022 South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Publication, funded by Arts South Australia to be published by Wakefield Press and penned by Belinda Howden and Anna O’Loughlin.

With a career spanning two decades, Mark is an Adelaide-based artist who works between Australia and the Philippines. Although his practice wilfully resists categorisation, ceramics is an enduring medium for him and has functioned as a linchpin to his many-parted installations that combine elements of painting, drawing, sculpture, video assemblage and street art.

Working between the two countries, Mark’s expanded ceramic practice is sensitive to space. It considers ideas of occupation and annexation; examines themes of conflict, dominance and resistance – reflecting on his early experiences growing up in army base camps throughout the southern Philippines – and frequently combines the personal with the political.

His works have featured in the 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, the 15th Australian Ceramics Triennale, and the 3rd Jakarta Contemporary Ceramics Biennale. He is a recipient of the 2015 Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Award.

Mark has two exhibitions in SALA: Still Tied To A Tree at Adelaide Central Gallery until 16 September; and has work on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia until 31 August.

It has also been announced that artist Helen Fuller will be the featured artist for 2023 and the focus of the 2023 South Australian Living Artists Publication, which will be penned by lead writer Ross Wolfe and writers Glenn Barkley & Sasha Grbich.

The SALA Art Cars will be roaming the streets of Adelaide during this year’s festival, generously provided by Jarvis Skoda and wrapped in artwork by Micky Barlow and Lesley Redgate.

The 2022 South Australian Living Artists Festival continues to 31 August. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: 2022 SALA Featured Artist, Mark Valenzuela – photo by Saul Steed