Free Art January 2022

23 Days of art making, 6 exhibitions & Skywhales: Every heart sings, and all for free!

Tuesday 4 January – Sunday 30 January 2022

Download the Program

Free Art January 2022 is full of creative experiences for all ages at Maitland Regional Art Gallery and you are invited to join in the fun! Visiting the Gallery is free, just register on arrival and follow our Covid-safe procedures while enjoying workshops, talks, self-directed activities, and exhibitions. All Free Art January experiences, including Skywhales: every heart sings, are free with all materials provided.

The Gallery is fully accessible. All welcome!

Bookings essential via Eventbrite, see What’s On to book. Note: Bookings open late December.

Free Art January is generously supported by Education Partner, Cleverpatch and the MRAG Members.


Self-directed art activities

Tuesday – Friday, 10.00am – 1.00pm

Pop into the Gallery any weekday to encounter our Art Tutors and be inspired by our self-directed Art Activities. Create your own imaginary machine and eye-spy in Lost Property Office, colour interactive artworks on display in Storylines, follow Family Art Trails in A Conspicuous Object – The Maitland Hospital and The 2021 Archibald Prize, and get to know the Gallery Collection with our Codebreakers!


Workshops for Children 3-8 years

Children must be accompanied by an adult

Clay Faces

11, 18 & 25 January, 10.30am – 12.00pm

Be inspired by the weird and wonderful ways artists portray people in exhibition National Art (part one) as you create clay faces.

Register +

Construct Your Own Machine

13 January, 10.30am – 12.00pm

Use simple materials to construct your own machine inspired by the meticulous cardboard creations in Daniel Agdag’s exhibition Lost Property Office.

Register +

Free Art Sunday

9, 16, 23 & 30 January, Sessions at 10.30am & 11.45am

Join our weekly hands-on art making workshop for young creatives and their families. Each week is totally different from the last, but always inspired by what’s on display.

Register +


Workshops for Kids 8 – 12 years

Animation: How-to!

12 & 19 January, 10.30am – 12.30pm

Explore the stop-motion madness of Daniel Agdag’s Lost Property Office then learn the basics of and create your own moving-image animation.

Register +

Painting Clap Sticks with Lesley Salem

14 January, 10.30am – 12.30pm

Learn about Aboriginal history and symbolism while painting clap sticks with Wonnarua artist Lesley Salem, as featured in A Conspicuous Object – The Maitland Hospital.

Register +

Create a Chimera with Patricia Piccinini

14 January, 1.30pm – 3.00pm (Ages 10-14 years)

Join artist Patricia Piccinini and our Art Tutors to Create a Chimera, a mythological hybrid of three or more animals, inspired by the Skywhale and collage techniques.

Register +


Workshops for Teens 13 – 18 years

Drawn to Move: Animation Made Easy with Todd Fuller

13 January, 1.00pm – 3.00pm

Take a wander through Storylines with exhibition curator and artist Todd Fuller and see how artists use drawing, then experiment with technique to create your own animated illustration.

Register +

Art and Sole with Blak Douglas

20 January, 11.00am – 1.30pm

Artist Blak Douglas will demonstrate techniques used in his mural Sands and Stones May Break My Bones at the Gallery as well as show you how to design a sole with a customised insignia.

Register +

Workshops for Adults

Prop making with Daniel Agdag, ages 16 +

21 January, 1.00 – 4.00pm

Discover the techniques used by artist Daniel Agdag to create the detailed props and set pieces in exhibition Lost Property Office, then experiment to create personalised props.

Register +

Felting with Anita Johnson, ages 16 +

29 January, 10am – 2pm

Find out about the creative potential of felt with artist Anita Johnson from exhibition A Conspicuous Object – The Maitland Hospital and create your own felted work of art.

Register +


Artist & Curator Talks

Artists’ Talk: Peter & Susan O’Doherty

14 January, 6.00pm – 7.00pm – Complimentary drink upon arrival courtesy of Tyrell’s Wines

Join artists Peter & Susan O’Doherty as they talk about their practice, the process of creating in response to community stories, and their commissioned works as featured in exhibition A Conspicuous
Object – The Maitland Hospital. This Artists’ Talk has been generously supported by Tyrrell’s Wines.

Register +

Curator’s Talk: A Conspicuous Object

12 January, 11.00am & 19 January, 1.30pm

Join Collection Curator Cheryl Farrell as she discusses community participation and how history and heritage has informed the commissioned works on display in A Conspicuous Object – The Maitland Hospital.

Register +

Artist Talk: Patricia Piccinini

Saturday 15 January, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

After Skywhales: Every heart sings, head to the Gallery to join artist Patricia Piccinini in an exclusive floor talk and hear about how she uses her creative practice to interrogate the complex relationship between our natural and artificial worlds.

Register +


Skywhales: Every heart sings | Maitland

Saturday 15 January, 4.30am – 7.00am

Maitland No 1 Sportsground, James Street, Maitland

Join a once in a lifetime community event and experience the magic of Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhale and Skywhalepapa, two hot air balloon sculptures towering at 7 storeys, as the pair slowly rise from the ground and, if weather permits, take off across the skies of Maitland.

Skywhales: Every heart sings is a National Gallery of Australia Touring Event supported by Principal Partner The Naomi Milgrom Foundation and Visions of Australia. Skywhales: Every heart sings is the third instalment of The Balnaves Contemporary Series and is a Know My Name project.

Register +


Archibald After Hours

28 January, open late until 8.00pm

Enjoy art after hours at the Gallery and see the most loved portraiture prize The 2021 Archibald Prize, along with five other exhibitions and self-directed art activities for children and families.

Entry to the Gallery is free. Entry to The 2021 Archibald Prize is by ticket only.

Book +


Art From Home

Have fun making, thinking and talking about art, from home! Watch art making videos to create your own works of art inspired by exhibitions A Conspicuous Object, Lost Property Office, National Art (part one) and The 2021 Archibald Prize.

Make +