Hop on the Hunter Arts Trail

Initially conceived as a partnership between Wollombi Valley’s Sculpture in the Vineyards and Dungog’s Sculpture on the Farm the Hunter Arts Trail has been attracting interest from a wide variety of galleries, events and community initiatives. If you are interested in joining the Hunter Arts Trail, email editorial@hunterandcoastal.com.au for more info.
And make sure to check in with this page as we keep adding and updating it with more info on the artistic side of the Hunter.

Sculpture in the Vineyards, now in its 19th year will run from 11 – 26 September 2021, featuring a line-up of artists that is more impressive than ever. Sculptures will be displayed in four indoor galleries, two vineyards and throughout the spectacular scenery of the Wollombi Valley. For more information go to sculptureinthevineyards.com.au

Dungog’s Sculpture on the Farm will open the farm gates from 1 – 10 October. Sculptures will be exhibited on the lush paddocks of idyllic Fosterton Farm, with smaller pieces on show at The Royal Hotel, Gallery on Dowling and at Dungog by Design in the centre of town. With high profile judges Steven Alderton and Gerry Bobsien, sculpture lunches and dinners, sculpture and garden rambles, there is plenty on offer – with more exciting announcement on spectacular exhibits expected in the next few weeks. For more information go to sculptureonthefarm.com.au

As you are making your way from Wollombi to Dungog, consider starting with a leisurely detour via the Broke Fordwich Wine Trail. Experience Winmark Wines’ spectacular Sculpture Park and newly opened art gallery (and maybe a couple of glasses of their signature chardonnay). The Art n Sip classes at Greenway Wines come with a vineyard tour, a private wine tasting and generous cheese and charcuterie platters. With organic wines at Krinklewood, delicious fine dining (and more) at Margan Wines & Restaurant or a visit to French inspired Talits Estate, there is plenty of nourishment for both body and soul on this tranquil side of the Hunter.

Watershed Gallery in Pokolbin boasts a vibrant and ever changing space to experience and interact with contemporary art and artists.

Maitland is a major regional hub with Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG), a partner of the Hunter Arts Trail, a must for art lovers on any day of the year. On 18 September, MRAG will take to the skies when Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhales will rise from the ground at sunrise (5am – 7.30am). Tickets essential.
The Levee Art Gallery & Studios on High Street is located in one of Maitland’s earliest commercial buildings dating back to the early Victorian period of the 1850s. Owner Lorna Ballantyne Epps showcases her own work along with pieces from emerging and established artists and offers workshops and art supplies.

Morpeth Art Gallery, in the eponymous historic village nearby, is a prime destination for traditional Australian landscape and wildlife art. It is easy to spend a whole day exploring bustling Swan Street: from Morpeth Antique Centre, Historic Arnott Bakehouse to the Morpeth Museum and plenty of quaint little gift shops, galleries and cafés in between, there is something on offer for everyone.

Hunter Artisan Gallery &Café on Melbourne Street in East Maitland features a wildly eclectic mix of 60 independent makers from across the Hunter and surrounding areas and offers hearty savoury dishes and home-made sweet treats.

In Cessnock, an initiative is underway to support young artists and to help them find their very own voices: Cessnock Contemporary is an arts mentorship project with a difference. Year 10 students from four high schools in the Cessnock LGA, two from each school, have been teamed up with established Australian artists to go on a journey of artistic exploration. As part of the project both students and mentors will create a work of art, reflecting their artistic journey. The pieces will be exhibited in an exhibition opening on 10 September.