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Newcastle’s art scene is white hot this summer

November 7, 2013 Destination Global No Comments Email Email


The permanent relocation of Brett Whiteley’s iconic Black Totem II sculpture to Newcastle has heralded the start of a summer that will be ablaze with outdoor artistic displays, special exhibitions and events scheduled to take place over summer.

The Newcastle Art Gallery has an amazing line up of exhibitions from a powerhouse of renowned Australian artists while outdoors the city’s very popular multimedia light display, City Evolutions on Watt Street will continue to evolve with new historical projections and content from emerging local artists.

From November 22 to 24, Newcastle’s streets will come alive with the LOOK HEAR Hit the Bricks festival – which will see artists from all around Australia descend on the city to literally paint the walls with world class art. Tours – on foot and on bike – are available for visitors wanting to visit the various sites and watch the buildings and alleyways come to life as canvasses.

The count-down to Christmas will see celebrations all over the City – including Christmas lights galore,  festive performances, carols by candlelight, markets and more, and the celebration of artistic activity will continue throughout the summer months in the distinctive spaces of Newcastle’s boutique galleries.

The Lock Up Cultural Centre on Watt Street has a calendar of exciting exhibitions planned, with displays peppered within heritage listed cells and the former exercise yard of this historic prison, while for  collectors looking to buy the Cooks Hill Gallery and Curve Gallery are not to be missed – with both featuring group exhibitions including high quality, affordable, contemporary Australian art from some of the most talented up and coming artists from across Australia.

Must-see exhibitions and events include:

Watts on Watt: Christmas in the City

Commencing with a spectacular launch night on Friday 29 November, Christmas in the City includes a calendar of must-do free activities the whole family will enjoy:

Friday 29 November: spectacular launch night including Christmas lights switch-on, entertainment and the festive follies tour.

Friday 6 December: special Christmas performances at the Old Post Office, 98 Hunter Street

Saturday 7 December: Christmas Art Bazaar Markets at Civic Park (9am-3pm)

Sunday 8 December: Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific closing ceremony on Watt Street

Thursday 12 December: Carols by Candlelight at Newcastle Museum and late night shopping

Friday 13 December: Carols by Candlelight at King Edward Park

Friday 20 December: Christmas markets at the Old Post Office Building, 98 Hunter Street

Newcastle Art Gallery

Whiteley on Water – 2 November 2013 to 23 February 2014

The idea of ‘on water’ binds together Whiteley’s iconic interpretations of Australian life by the sea with his revered status as one of Australia’s greatest artists of the 20th Century. A celebration of our nation’s ‘cult of the coastal life style’ from Byron to Bondi, the exhibition includes the unfinished, rarely seen Bondi beach polyptych. This hallmark exhibition will be officially opened by Wendy Whiteley on Saturday 2 November at 2pm.

David Aspden Survey – 23 November 2013 to 2 February 2014

One of Australia’s foremost abstract painters. His use of glowing colour and gestural brush strokes evoke the energy and rhythm of Jazz music.

Olley-Alia – 23 November 2013 to 2 February 2014.

A focus exhibition that brings to life the art practice of the late Margaret Olley.

Bill Henson Across Time – 23 November 2013 – 2 February 2014

Highlighting Newcastle Art Gallery’s expanding collection of works by Bill Henson, one of Australia’s most significant contemporary artists, Across Time documents aspects of Henson’s career from the seminal Paris Opera series through to his iconic youth-focused works and to later works featuring the abandoned landscape, sky-scapes and shipping.

Accommodation deals:

Quest Newcastle: 575 Hunter St, Newcastle

Christmas at Quest: Our 4.5 Star AAA rated Serviced Apartments are ideal for families and friends offering plenty of space to enjoy the Festive Season and Newcastle’s beautiful coastline. On arrival receive a complimentary gift from Santa.

Contact our reservations team on (02) 49288000 or
1 Bedroom Apartment – $210 per night

2 Bedroom Apartment – $299 per night

Terms and conditions: Not valid with any other offer. Minimum night stay may apply. Subject to availability. Available 23 December to 27 December.

Explore the local attractions or relax by one of the many beautiful beaches. We’ll have you summer ready with your complimentary Quest bag, sunscreen an bottled water on arrival, plus a 15% discount at Newcastle Surf School.

Contact our reservations team on (02) 49288000 or

1 Bedroom Apartment – $208 per night

2 Bedroom Apartment – $288 per night

Terms and conditions: Not valid with any other offer. Subject to availability. Available 1 December 2013 to 28 February 2014

Crowne Plaza NewcastleCnr Merewether Str & Wharf Rd, Newcastle

Enjoy special savings of up to 20% off when you stay two nights at Crowne Plaza Newcastle.  Conveniently situated on Newcastle’s iconic waterfront, Crowne Plaza Newcastle is within walking distance to tranquil coastal pathways, spectacular beaches, eclectic cuisine and historic cultural venues.

Rates from $169 per night. 

To book call 138 388 or email 
Terms and conditions: Minimum 2 night stay.  Subject to availability and blackout dates apply. Valid until January 29, 2014 for stays untilJanuary 31, 2014.

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