For the duration of March, Art Month Sydney casts the spotlight on Sydney's contemporary galleries, art and artists through a diverse, and always thought-provoking program of exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, artists studio visits, tours, precinct nights and more.

As we prepare for the exciting, art filled month ahead we caught up with Program Director, Samantha Watson-Wood and Festival Manager, Mary Wenholz to discuss how the festival comes together, their tips for enjoying Art Month, Sydney's contemporary art scene and more!

Samantha Watson-Wood, Program Director

Samantha Watson-Wood, Program Director

Mary Wenholz, Festival Manager

Mary Wenholz, Festival Manager

As the Festival Manager and Program Director of Art Month Sydney, what do your respective roles entail?
Sam: As Program Director, I oversee the program and develop content. I work with partners on creative activations and curate the Art Bars in collaboration with the Artistic Director, Barry Keldoulis.
Mary: As Festival manager, I look after the event management, working closely with the City of Sydney and the galleries to ensure a smooth running event.

What is the best part of your job? 
Sam: Working with artists to create an immersive experience in interesting spaces for Sydney’s event goers.
Mary: Contributing to Sydney’s creative economy

What made you want to become involved with Art Month?
While this is only the second edition of the festival that we have produced, the team here at Art Fairs Australia have all been huge fans of Art Month for years and loved attending the festival each March. We see Art Month as an important cultural event for Sydney siders as it gives contemporary art the spotlight for the duration of the festival. It was exciting when we got the chance to actually put an Art Month festival together in 2016 and we are really excited about what the 2017 festival has in store for everyone.

Do you have a particular event, or exhibition that you are most excited about?
All of the galleries have put together an amazing program of exhibitions, it’s hard to pick just one! Our hot tip is to grab some friends each Wednesday for the Art at Night events, it’s a great way to discover new galleries and artists in Sydney’s different precincts, before finishing the evening at the Art Bar by Cake Wines for an evening of art, performances and all round fun.

What is your advice to someone who is planning their Art Month schedule?
The Art Month website is your gateway to a world of art and creativity this March. You can either peruse the program via the calendar, selecting a particular date to see what is happening. Alternatively, pick one of the program categories and see just how much Sydney has to offer! Make sure you sign up to the Art Month e-newsletter, via our website, for your weekly hit of program highlights. With so much happening as part of the festival, make sure you get planning now.

You have both worked extensively in the arts overseas, how does Sydney compare? What is your favourite part about the arts and culture in Sydney?
Sam: It is a harder process getting creative pursuits up and running in Sydney but it is worth the effort. Sydney’s art scene although smaller is at an international standard with practitioners making challenging and interesting work. Events like Art Month are important to showcase this and year after year prove there is a hungry audience for it.
Mary: Sydney stands up as a leading cultural global city and I think that the Sydney artists operate with a freshness and a level of enthusiasm that is uniquely Australian.

Book now for Culture Scouts exclusive Art Month tours by clicking here.

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