An entire month of art takes over Sydney's conventional, unconventional and philosophical spaces in March.

With the beginning of Art Month coming up on March 1, the program of one of Sydney's foremost art festivals is one of the more impressive in its history. The program includes a wild array of exhibitions, talks, tours and experiences that celebrate the vibrant art scene in Sydney, from the artists to the galleries and creative spaces.

The 2017 program includes the return of Art at Night (presented by your friends Concrete Playground), a series of after-hours parties and gallery takeovers in the creative spaces in Paddington/Woolahra, East Sydney, and Chippendale/Redfern. Some of Sydney's best galleries will open their doors after closing time to wanderers of the Art Map trail — a journey that culminates in a trip to the Cake Wines Art Bar.

Inner west renegades The Bad Bitch Choir (BBC) will be performing. Architect Tao Gofers will give a special tour of the contentious Brutalist Sirius building in The Rocks. Artist Chris Fox will be attached to a large steel drawing machine in Redfern. Sri Lankan-born, Sydney-based artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran will take over Paddington with his large scale sculptures. Intellectual disability-supporting Studio A will be creating a colourful courtyard site-specific work in Chippendale. And Nothing to Lose creator Kelli Jean Drinkwater is commissioning a new work that explores trends in representations of women's bodies.

Sticky beaks will get their nosey fix at Art Month as usual, as private collections and home studios open up to the public. The private collection of the legendary Margaret Woodward will be on display inside the home of Wagner Contemporary director Nadine Wagner. The works will be for sale, so if you're in the market, this would be the time to snap up something that'll be priceless one day, if not already. Plus, Guy Maestri, Laura Jones, Julian Meager and Louis Pratt will open their impressive Marrickville studios to the public. Or pop into the Collectors Space, where the personal collections of Archibald winning artists Del Kathryn Barton and Nicholas Harding, among others, will be on display.

Want to hear directly from an artist? Sam Holt will be on hand at the Artereal Gallery in Rozelle, where he'll be delivering a talk on his latest exhibition, The space between… The artworks on display are comments on the life of the individual versus the need of society, reflections on the choices that we all make along our very unique paths. There'll be forums surrounding Myuran Sukumaran's posthumous exhibition, Another Day in Paradise, and two members of the boundary-pushing Ikeyan group, Aoki and Yokoyama, will discuss contemporary Japanese ceramics at the Japan Foundation.

Tours throughout living creative spaces are on offer, too. Art walking tour crew Culture Scouts will take groups on artistic adventures through Sydney's suburbs, including a saunter through the bohemian borough of Redfern. Those in attendance will be treated to the tales of local artist Randal Arvilla, as well as an expert on Indigenous art and culture.

That's just a snippet of the Art Month program. Check the website for the whole month-long lineup.

Published on February 01, 2017 by James Whitton

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