Arts & Culture

We are proud of our rich and creative traditions, practices and aspirations in arts and culture, which reflect, shape and challenge our personal and community identities.

We provide great opportunities for people to engage with and participate in a dynamic and vibrant environment that encourages positive ways of living together. We believe in collaborating with the community and organisations to support a whole range of activities, projects, programs, festivals, exhibitions, events, facilities and understandings that are part of the cultural fabric of our area.

If you are an artist, performer or community organisation interested in arts and culture in your local community, please contact the Cultural Development Officer, Matthew Ives on 8372 5134 or email

Public Arts Strategy

Our Involve Unley Public Arts Strategy seeks to set a new example of how public arts can be conceived, developed, implemented and sustained. The Strategy provides directions for the commissioning of public arts that are creative, relevant and contemporary and also increase awareness, as well as complement the qualities and values of the City of Unley.

Since 2014/15, Involve Unley Public Arts Strategy has created a program of public arts commissioning and support, which stimulates thinking, invites interaction, celebrates diversity, allows for contemplation and even questions our assumptions.

This Strategy includes:

  • Objectives, principles and types of art that will underpin the delivery of public arts over the next five years
  • Actions and pilot projects involving different types of public arts
  • The City of Unley Public Arts Policy

For further information, please contact the Cultural Development Coordinator on 8372 5134 or email

Public Arts Strategy


SALA in Unley

Welcome to 2017 South Australian Living Arts Festival in Unley.

Discover art in a local gallery, shop, business or studio. Discover emerging artists, established artists, community groups, visual art, sculptures, ceramics, photography, mixed media, and much more….

SALA runs throughout August, showcasing South Australia's visual artists’ talent and creativity. The SALA Festival celebrates local community and diversity. Over the past ten years, SALA in Unley has boasted more venues and artists than any other metropolitan region and continues to maintain its popularity. We want more artists and venues coming on board. Exhibition registrations for the 2017 festival open 1 March and close 15 May.

Artist and venue expressions of interest will close the week before, on 8 May.

Our traders and businesses are always looking for artists to show work in their areas. For more information please contact Matthew Ives or any of our local trader associations.
  • Artist Registration Subsidy Scheme

    The City of Unley has an artist registration subsidy scheme for artists exhibiting in the City of Unley area. This scheme acknowledges the role that artists and local venues play in the cultural life of the council area. Subsidies of up to $120 are available to assist individuals and groups with the cost of registering for the SALA Festival.

    Subsidies will be provided to artists who are:

    • residents of the City of Unley who are exhibiting either in or outside of the Council area
    • artists exhibiting within the City of Unley

    Subsidies will only be provided for costs associated with registrations for SALA. Multiple applications may be considered. The closing date for applications will be 26 May 2017. Exact allocation of subsidies will be dependent upon the number of applications received.

    Applications can be made in writing. Download the application form below and send to:
    Matthew Ives, Cultural Development Coordinator
    PO Box 1, Unley SA 5061

    Or email with a copy of the SALA registration receipt. 

  • City of Unley Active Ageing Award

    For artists over the age of 60, to celebrate the City of Unley’s involvement with SALA and our commitment to promoting and supporting an active ageing approach.

    Prize consists of $2,000 cash and an exhibition space in Unley for SALA 2018.

    Upload details and 2 images via the SALA Festival online entry form.

    Finalists will be short-listed and a winner chosen from the images uploaded.

    The winner will be announced at the SALA award ceremony in July 2017 and acknowledged in the SALA program.

    Nominations close 24 May 2017.

    Find out more on the City of Unley’s Active Ageing Strategy.

  • Further Information
    To find out more about this year's SALA, or future opportunities in the arts and culture space, phone Matthew Ives, Cultural Development Coordinator, on 8372 5134 or email

Goodwood Road Streetscape Upgrade Art Projects

 Streetscape Concept Illustration

Four new public arts projects will be revealed on Goodwood Road this year, which are a platform for a changing program of artistic interventions by artists and/or community members collaborating with artists. These public arts projects are part of the Goodwood Road Streetscape Upgrade. 

  • In the Groove

    A team of artists have been commissioned to create permanent artworks which fit into ‘slots’ installed in 18 seat/planter units along Goodwood Road. 

  • Niche Market
    10 artists have been commissioned to create temporary artworks which will sit within ‘niches’ inside planter boxes on Goodwood Road. Niches will create ‘platforms’ for miniature artworks, which will act almost like hidden gems or jewels, and will be discovered by and reward the viewer by creating a special moment in time. 
  • Welcome Mat

    An artist has been commissioned to create 6 stencil designs which will be used in DuraTherm™ treatment on the side streets at 6 intersections along Goodwood Road. The main aim of this project is to create a dynamic, vibrant and welcoming feel to the side road intersections of Florence, Rosa, Lily and Gilbert Streets on the eastern side of Goodwood Road and Surrey and Victoria Streets on the western side of Goodwood Road.  

Watch this space for ‘Post-it’, a community art opportunity.

Four Elements Public Art Rejuvenation Project

Four Elements is a public art work on the Unley Village Green by John Davis, created in 1980. The artwork references and celebrates the four elements of earth, wind, water and fire and has been enjoyed by many local residents, families and school children. It has become an iconic piece of public art in Unley. In 2016 it was rejuvenated and re-expressed by Greg Healey, who added additional features to the artwork such as a soundscape that references running water and a visual representation of water made of steel.
Lead Artist: Greg Healey
Collaborators: Sandpit (experiential design firm) and Hugo Mount (stonemason)
Photos:  Silvertrace Photography by Samantha Oster

Emerging Art Walls

The Emerging Art Walls project is an ongoing street art initiative which aims to enliven and enhance spaces around the City of Unley and create a strong feeling of identity, community pride and ownership. In 2015, the community were asked to nominate walls or infrastructure suitable for murals .These artworks were completed in late 2016. The themes for the murals range from our role in guarding nature, the relationship between the natural and built worlds and local community members.

Lead Artist: Seb Humphreys
Artists: Buff Dis, Jimmy Dodd, Kab101, Order55, Thom Buchanan, Vans the Omega
Photos and moving images: Sam Roberts and Rumpus Room Studio

Emerging Art Walls has been proudly sponsored by Crowies Paints.
Crowies Paints Logo

All Connections to Unley Art Prize

The City of Unley is delighted to announce the winners for the All Connections to Unley Art Prize. 

And you too could have prints of these artworks!

All Connections to Unley Art Prize is a new initiative of the City of Unley. Offered for the first time in 2016, South Australian artists, young people and children were invited to create artworks drawing on their personal connection to the City of Unley. Entries were open to artworks in two dimensional mediums, including painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, collage and new media.

In May, the finalists and winners in each of the categories were presented in an exhibition at the Hughes Gallery, Fullarton Park Community Centre. The finalists were selected by the judging panels to be at the highest level of the entry collective. These artists were selected based on technique, creativity and engagement with the theme of “All Connections to Unley”. Karen Paris has curated this exhibition.

On Friday 6 May at the Hughes Gallery, Mayor Lachlan Clyne presented the prizes to the winners.

Open Category: Peter Barnes

Prize: $5,000

 Peter Barnes - God & Mammon photograph
God & Mammon - Inkjet print on Canson Baryta Photographique

Youth Category: Emma

Prize: $1,000 plus mentorship or short course (value $500)

 Emma - Suburban Fairy Tale watercolour
Suburban Fairy-tale - Watercolour


Children Category: Yike

Prize: $500 worth of art making materials

 Yike - The Purple Unley watercolour
The Purple Unley - Watercolour
People's Choice: Sarah McDonald
Art School at Sunset Fullarton Park Centre
The Art School at Sunset, Fullarton Park Centre – Oil on linen

The artworks of the winners in each of the categories have been reproduced on selected public bins across the City of Unley. Now a limited edition sticker set for residents’ blue bins is available to Unley residents. Phone Customer Service on 8372 5111 to get hold of your set.

Interactive Dance Play at Mud Central

Mud Central was a large family event held at Ridge Park, Myrtle Bank in April 2016 and attended by approximately 4,000 children and parents. The event aimed to encourage children and their families to connect, be creative and play with nature and in this case, mud! The artists used music, dance and performance to inspire mud play, contemplation and hands-on learning.
Artists: Billie Cook, Cinzia Schincariol, Katerina Stevens
Creative Producer: Billie Cook
Photos: Silvertrace Photography by Samantha Oster

Past Projects & Galleries

Discover arts projects and events recently held in the City of Unley.
  • Linger, longer | April 2015
    This public arts project was an artistic collaboration between the City of Unley, Dario Vacirca and artists Emma Beech, Erin Fowler, Josephine Were, Maya Sollier and El Pablo from Open Space.

    Linger, longer was an investigative and experiential temporary public arts project re-examining our place in space.

    It involved installations, theatre, dance and creative engagement to take participants on a shared journey exploring their common spaces.

    Linger, longer was part of the first year of exciting and innovative public arts projects linked to Involve Unley – Public Arts Strategy. Linger, longer tested and experimented with temporary public arts to educate, inform, facilitate and collaborate in a new way of engaging with our community through the expression of the arts. Diverse art forms were used to bring our public realm to life.

    For more information on this project, please contact Matthew Ives Cultural Development Coordinator
  • Found, out | May 2015
    Found, out was an investigative and experiential temporary public arts project about re-discovering and re-connecting with our local parks and reserves.

    Over two weekends in May 2015 at Soutar Park and Everard Park Reserve, local people came together as artists and explorers with professional artists to work together to imagine, contribute, and slowly transform the park with collective sculptures. Using the medium of clay and found flora from gardens, parks and reserves, people created their own work and placed them in their favourite places!

    Artists: Morag Cook, Sarah-Jane Cook and Kim ShanahanCreative
    Producer: Morag Cook
    Photos and moving images: Ben Searcy
  • FEAST Festival
    Council has hosted FEAST Festival events since 2007. Presently held in November, FEAST is a major event on the festival calendar and is South Australia's largest LGBTIQ curated cultural festival. The event attracts performers from all over the world and visitors from near and far.
  • Coffee, Tea & Poetry | 2014
    Once upon a time, instead of going to the movies or watching TV, people would gather to listen to someone tell a story or recite a poem. This was a custom that celebrated the beauty of the spoken word and engaged the community. The City of Unley brought the oral storytelling tradition back to life by presenting live poetry performances in local Cafés.

    In 2014, in the lead up to Double Shot Unley Coffee Fiesta, five local cafes hosted performance poets working in their spaces for around two hours. Writing, reading, performing and chatting - residents were invited to meet, listen to and drink with professional poets.

    Participating cafes were:
    • By Blackbird Coffee and Dessert Cafe, Shop 4, 100 King William Road, Hyde Park
    • Hyde Park Bakery, 1 Mitchell Street, Hyde Park
    • Pellegrini Café, 169 Unley Road, Unley
    • Lunch Club, Unley Shopping Centre, Unley Road
    • Carnevale Coffee 114 East Avenue, Clarence Park

    This project is an initiative of The City of Unley’s Where Business Meets Art project in conjunction with Friendly Street Poets and SA Writers Centre.

    For all enquiries, please contact Matthew Ives email or phone 8372 5134.
  • Footstomping, Fables & Film
    Heywood Park was brought alive with Footstomping, Fables and Film. The biggest of the Summer Outdoor Entertainment events included live music from local bands Cold Comfort, The Timbers and Prawnhead, a wonderful Splash Theatre Company performance of Mr Badger: Wind in the Willows, food and beverages provided by Fuji Rolls and Great Relish Organic Coffee and our lovely writer in residence, Lilliana Rose. The afternoon was topped off with the community settling into a Road Movie Mobile Cinema Screening of Disney Pixar animation Brave.