The main aim of Sydney’s annual Art Month is to encourage people to experience art and to promote the idea that art should be taken in, not just witnessed or simply possessed. This year’s theme, Intersections and Parallels, examines interlocking disciplines and sits at the crossroads of art and other creative pursuits – including architecture, fashion and film.

The Art Month program for 2014 boasts a bounty of art experiences and adventures to be had, set over more than 90 participating galleries and cultural venues. Here is our pick of what’s not to be missed at this year’s festival.


Screen Dreams
Be honest – you probably don’t actually need an excuse to slouch in the warmly lit caramel-coloured booths of the bar at the Golden Age Cinema, or more reason to sample something new from its seriously good cocktail menu. But Art Month has presented a motive all the same. In a two-part series entitled Screen Dreams, Golden Age Cinema programmer and film critic, Kate Jinx will invite Sydney-based artists Heath Franco and Justine Varga to each present a film they feel has truly made an impact on their work. Photographer Varga will show the 1962 Italian classic L’Eclisse (The Eclipse), while video artist Franco will show Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. The artists will also appear in conversation with Jinx, to discuss the significance of their movie choice.

Screen Dreams 1: Artists on Cinematic Influence – Justine Varga
March 16, 6–9pm
Screen Dreams 2: Artists on Cinematic Influence – Heath Franco
March 23 6–9pm

artmonthsydney.com.au/experiences/screen-dreams-1-artists-on-cinematic-influence


Art on the Runway: Is Contemporary Art Driven by Fashion?
Is contemporary art motivated by the ins and outs of the fashion world? Or is it the other way around? Undoubtedly, fashion borrows from art – Muiccia Prada’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection featured painted pop-art faces by Pierre Mornet, and Opening Ceremony has recently borrowed from surrealist painter Rene Magritte to create prints for a new capsule collection. This discussion hopes to reveal more about the relationship between art and fashion – and is led by editor of Australian Harper’s Bazaar, Kellie Hush. Other speakers include artist and photographer Derek Henderson, the authors of Art/Fashion in the 21st Century, Mitchell Oakley Smith and Alison Kubler as well as Sydney-based artist Técha Noble.

Art on the Runway: Is Contemporary Art Driven by Fashion?
March 7, 6 – 8pm
Carriageworks
Free

artmonthsydney.com.au/talks/art-on-the-runway-is-contemporary-art-driven-by-fashion


Art Cycle
A regular on the Art Month program, Art Cycle events allow you to marry your interest in contemporary art with your passion for cycling. Take your fixed gear along the flatter terrain of Marrickville’s open studio trail, and maybe opt for gears on the SafARI tour of artist run spaces, throughout Surry Hills, Kings Cross and Chippendale. The tours are run in conjunction with a collective of art and bike enthusiasts called Art Cycle – who have mapped out easy-going routes through some of Sydney’s most interesting contemporary art hubs.

Art Cycle Tours
Various dates throughout March from various locations
Free

artmonthsydney.com.au/tours


Go West
This bus tour offers the opportunity to explore an area of Sydney that harbours a wealth of artistic merit. Visit a set of western-Sydney art centres, galleries and studios that you will have no doubt heard of, but may not have had the chance to explore. This tour checks off Parramatta Artist Studios (where Heath Franco and Tom Polo are currently in residence), the Blacktown Arts Centre, The Campbeltown Arts Centre, and more.

Go West: Bus Tour
March 15, 10am–5pm
Free
Leaves from Art Gallery of NSW steps.

artmonthsydney.com.au/tours/go-west-bus-tour


Art at Night
Why attend just one exhibition opening when you can attend several in the same suburb? Much like East London’s monthly First Thursdays open gallery events, Art Month’s Art at Night precinct parties invite you to explore galleries, artist-run spaces and studios in dedicated suburbs after dark. There are three Sydney precincts in 2014: Paddington and Woollahra, East Sydney and Darlinghurst and Chippendale and Redfern. Take a map, and make your way from gallery to gallery, before landing at designated Art Bar spaces for drinks and music until 10pm.

Art at Night
Various Thursdays throughout March at various locations
6–10pm
Free


The full program of events is available at artmonthsydney.com.au