Art Month unites commercial galleries with artist-run spaces, studios and art-focused organisations. This year’s program is inspired by the machine of creativity and Sydney’s creative producers.

“If we think of the city as an engine that drives creativity, what are the parts of the motor that move differently but in union to produce forward motion?” asks director Barry Keldoulis. “Art Month 2016 throws the elemental pieces of that engine down in front of you – artists, art schools, studios, galleries, institutions – both bricks and mortar and virtual, collections private and public – for you to piece together how these form a working whole.”

Here’s our pick of what’s not to be missed at this year’s festival.

The Eveleigh Creative Precinct The Eveleigh Creative Precinct will open its doors for the first time at Art Month 2016. The new creative warehouse space will host a specially curated exhibition. Experience the space at the Chippendale Art at Night event, or sit down to dinner with the artists at the Belle Artist Dinner. It will have a menu crafted by Hartsyard Head Chef, Gregory Llewellyn, and matching Cake wines.

Belle Artist Dinner, March 9, 6.30pm–9.30pm, $175 per person. Art at Night: Chippendale and Redfern, March 6, 6pm–10pm. Eveleigh Creative Precinct, Corner Hart Street and Hudson Street, Redfern.

Video oediV Video art has entered into a new phase of recognition and popularity with artists, collectors and art enthusiasts. Video oediV features an intriguing selection of newly commissioned and existing video works by 15 artists from Australia, New York, Germany, London, Thailand and Brazil. The works are centred on the diversity of representation, visibility, influence and experience of female form, and the social body through technology. See pieces by Australian outfits Soda Jerk and Hissy Fit, as well as Berlin-based, Boudry Lorenz.

January 16 to March 20, Monday to Sunday, 10am–4pm, Campbelltown Arts Centre. campbelltown.nsw.gov.au

Starting a Collection 101 Buying art can be a daunting concept – a troublesome combination of taste and the ability to predict the trajectory of an artist’s career comes into play. Loan schemes such as Art Money have made the process less financially intimidating – but at this panel discussion, you’ll hear from industry leaders on the best approach to buying art. Speakers include Barry Keldoulis; art advisor and art-fair expert, Mark Hughes; and director of Alaska Projects, Sebastian Goldspink.

March 5, 11.30am–12.30pm, Alaska Projects. home.alaskaprojects.com

Hashtag Winning Hosted at Redfern small bar and slightly eccentric art spot, The Bearded Tit, this is an exhibition about coming second place and life’s unlucky losers. It will feature Elvis Richardson’s monuments to art-world success and an assortment of sad trophies by Madeleine Preston and artist collective 110%.

February 22 to April 2, The Bearded Tit. thebeardedtit.com

The Floral Gift Artists Sarah Ryan and Anna McMahon first hosted their floral-inspired dinner at Open Source Gallery in Brooklyn, New York in 2014. For Art Month this year, the pair has shifted the concept across the sea for an intimate, flower-filled evening at MOP Projects, with a flower-based menu created by Bloodwood’s Claire van Vuuren.

March 11, 7pm–10pm, MOP Projects. mop.org.au

Chippendale and Redfern Gallery and Food Tour with Culture Scouts Art Month offers a great selection of tours. Go to unexpected or overlooked spaces on the outskirts of the city, or into the private, unseen studios of working artists, on a bus, on a bike or on foot. Culture Scouts is a set of new art-focused walking tours, led by locals and art experts that unearth hidden treasures in and around the inner city. The best part – these tours include food and beverage stops at the suburb’s best bars and eateries.

March 19, 10am culturescouts.com.au

Wildflower Laura Jones’ first solo exhibition Light is Fugitive at Southern Highlands’ Gallery Ecosse sold out within the first few hours of being open. Her still-life paintings – typically thick posies bathed in natural light – were inspired by hours spent working as a florist, and undoubtedly, time spent in the rolling greens of Exeter and Robertson. Wildflower is Jones’ first exhibition as part of the Olsen Irwin stable, celebrating the Australian wildflower.

March 2 to March 20, Olsen Irwin Gallery. olsenirwin.com