Free Art January 2023

A month-long festival of free and fun art activities for all ages, plus eight exhibitions! Visit 10.00am - 5.00pm Monday - Sunday, except public holidays.

Come to Maitland Regional Art Gallery this Summer and enjoy creative experiences for audiences of all ages in Free Art January. Take part in artist-led workshops, drop-in and self-directed art experiences, plus after-hours activations and a family friendly film festival. Plus, we’re opening every Monday in January, except the public holiday, so you can make the most of what’s on offer.

Visiting the Gallery is free. All materials are provided.

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

Bookings open FRIDAY 16 DECEMBER 

Download the Program +

Drop-In, No bookings required

Tinky Art Trail
Self-directed | Daily | All ages

Miniature installation artist Tinky has created an art trail especially for MRAG titled Escapade. With this art trail, you will discover ten of Tinky’s wonderfully absurd dioramas which encourage intimate experiences with art in unexpected places.

Monster Mash Art Station
Self-directed | Daily | All ages

Fun for all ages, Monster Mash is an interactive exhibition designed for kids by artist Kate Rohde. Kate draws on myth and fantasy to create mutant creatures. Step into their hyper-colourful world to make your own creation, while surrounded by Kate’s inspirational art works.

Code Breakers
Self-directed | Daily | All ages

Don your detective cap and try our Code Breakers, three different art trails designed for young audiences and families which get you moving through the Gallery and exploring the art on display in a fun way.

Moving Sculptures Activity Station
Tuesday 17 January – Friday 20 January, 10.00am – 1.00pm
Drop in | Daily | 30-minute sessions

Join our MRAG Art Tutor and make your own paper and fabric whirring, revolving moving sculpture inspired by artist Hannah Gartside’s kinetic textile installation! Participants are invited to spend 30 minutes at the station. Bookings not required, but places limited.

For Everyone

Clay Sounds Like…
Tuesday 10 January, 11.00am – 12.00pm
Bookings essential | All ages & skill levels

Squelch, splat, thud, ping, clink… have you ever thought about what clay sounds like? Artist Holly Macdonald will work with participants to uncover the range of sounds made by clay and how these sounds offer information about the material and our relationship to it. Bring a smart phone along so that you can take some sounds home with you!

Book +

Impressions in Clay
Wednesday 11 January, 11.00am – 12.00pm
Bookings essential | All ages & skill levels

This workshop will focus on clay’s capacity to capture the way our bodies interact with the world around us. Artist Holly Macdonald will guide workshop participants through the process of making clay tiles working with hands and body to produce tiles that uniquely reflect each participant.

Book +

For Children & Carers

Free Art Sunday
Every Sunday, 10.30am and 11.45am
Bookings essential | Children & carers

Come along to Free Art Sunday, our weekly program connecting children and families with art through hands-on activities and facilitated by our friendly MRAG Art Tutors.

Book +

Moving Monsters with artist Kate Rohde
Thursday 12 January, 11.00 – 11.45am
Bookings essential | Children & carers

A fun workshop for families to enjoy using simple techniques to create your own moving monsters. This workshop is designed for children 4 -8 years but can be enjoyed by older children too.

Book +

For Kids 8-12

Mythical Creatures with artist Kate Rohde
Thursday 12 January, 1.00 – 2.30pm
Bookings essential | Ages 8 – 12 years

Learn how to make your own monster using wire armature and plaster bandages with artist Kate Rohde. You may get messy in this workshop so wear old clothes and bring along an apron or art smock.

Book +

For Teens

Resin Casting with artist Kate Rohde
Friday 13 January, 12.00 – 4.00pm
Bookings essential | Ages 14 – 18 years

A unique opportunity to work with Melbourne-based artist Kate Rohde where you will learn the essential skills for designing your own small wearable or sculptural object and simple techniques for making a mould to cast designs, using low odour, easy to handle and fast setting materials for a quick and colourful result.  You may get messy in this workshop so wear old clothes and BYO apron.

Book +

LOVEDAVID Presents “Cinema Ourselves” – Film-making workshops for teens
Wednesday 18 January, 10.00am – 2.00pm, Ages 12 – 14 years
Thursday 19 January, 11.00am – 3.00pm, Ages 15 – 17 years
Bookings essential

Would you like to explore DIY filmmaking using your own plot ideas and experience being part of a film crew? Join LOVEDAVID in quick, fun and special one-day collaborative film-making workshops, and then be part of red-carpet stardom at the MRAG ScreenLife (Short) Film Festival at the Gallery Friday 20 January from 5.00pm. Each workshop is limited to 10 participants. Requires nothing but a phone/camera (let us know if you don’t have either and we can supply a camera for the day).

This program is part of the Holiday Break Program supported by the Office for Regional Youth in partnership with Create NSW.

Book Ages 12 – 14 + Book Ages 15 – 17 +

Gloves off: Teen Drawing Workshop with Jane Lander
Tuesday 24 January, 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Bookings essential | Ages 14 – 16 years

Join this practical drawing workshop just for teens led by artist Jane Lander. You will have the opportunity to practice, improve and expand your skill base by experimenting with a variety of media, trying processes that encourage taking small risks and accepting change as part of the art-making process.

Book +

After Hours Experiences

Kate Rohde Artist Talk & Street Eats
Friday 13 January, 6.30pm
Gallery open until 8.00pm
Bookings essential for talk | | All ages

Join us after hours to hear Kate Rohde discuss her art practice and busy year of exhibitions, and current work on display in Monster Mash at MRAG. Kate takes inspiration from decorative arts, science and mythological creatures to create intensely colourful jewellery and sculptures. Plus, roll out the picnic rug for Street Eats, with plenty of delicious food to choose from and live music in the Gallery Garden.

Book +

MRAG ScreenLife (Short) Film Festival
Friday 20 January, 5.00pm – 8.00pm
Bookings essential | All ages

Be part of red-carpet stardom at the world premiere of just-made short films by our Free Art January aspiring filmmakers, screening alongside a curated selection of LOVEDAVID’S best moments in film!

This program is part of the Holiday Break Program supported by the Office for Regional Youth in partnership with Create NSW.

Book +

Pot-Luck Party
Friday 27 January, 5.00pm – 8.00pm
Bookings essential | All ages

Join artist Jayanto Tan as he takes us on an adventure celebrating food and its rich cultural history, including the Pai Ti Kong Festival Lunar New Year. Come dressed up to celebrate Lunar New Year, bring your favourite recipes to share; watch Jayanto perform the Pandan Lamington story, make your own Pai Ti Kong food in air-dried clay; enjoy Pot Luck Party food snacks from different cultures and enjoy music in the Gallery garden.  Bring your picnic blanket!

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Terms and Conditions

  1. Children visiting the gallery under 12 years must be accompanied by an adult.
  2. Parents/care givers of children 8-12 years attending workshops must check in with MRAG staff at the Gallery Front Desk. Children must be picked up from the workshop at the finish time.
  3. MRAG reserves the right to alter or cancel any activities where necessary.
  4. MRAG as a department of Maitland City Council reproduced written material, photographic or video images of individuals and groups in its publications, promotional material and on its website. These images are used to promote the Gallery and/or Council. If you do not wish to appear in photographs, videos or audio recordings, if it your responsibility to remove yourself. Where minors are present, the photographer will seek permission from care givers before taking photographs.