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Top Ten Picks for Summer 2021

It's that time of year again where we pull together our Top Ten suggestions for summertime creativity on the Mid North Coast. It's been a tumultuous year, and what better way to end it and see the new year in with some much needed cultural 'therapy'! There's plenty to see and do this holiday season - so here it is, in no particular order - our Top Ten Picks for all ages and interests!


Bellingen Shire Arts Week

Bellingen Shire celebrates its creativity with more than 100 arts and music activities, exhibitions, workshops and performances by local artists and artisans from Dorrigo, Bellingen and Urunga.

You’ll be amazed at the variety of events  and workshops – 2D and 3D art, many types of music, drama, poetry, buskers and pavement art. Check out their website below for further details of events and venues.

Bellingen Shire Arts Week is on from 10 - 17 January 2021, with the official opening in Urunga Town Centre on Sunday 10 January, 10:30am.

TENSION(s): 4th Tamworth Textile Triennial

The Tamworth Textile Triennial, is held every three years, showcasing the best of textile art from across the country, attracting artist participation from all states in Australia.

This year's exhibition is curated by composer and sound artist Vic McEwan - and acknowledges that the world has long been a place under various tensions, both harmonious and dissonant. The triennial focuses on the future of people and place through textile as a material and human experience as materiality.

Don't miss this though provoking exhibition at the Manning Regional Art Gallery from 18 December - 14 February 2021.

Eugenia Lim 'The Ambassador'

Culture Hub is an initiative of Coffs Harbour City Council and is a temporary, experimental shopfront space hosting exhibitions and associated programs in the heart of the CBD. These holidays, immerse yourself in a truly unique multimedia exhibition by Australian artist Eugenia Lim with her latest body of work featuring contemporary installation and video alongside sculpture and photographic works.

'Eugenia Lim - The Ambassador' runs until 16 January 2021 at the Culture Hub, Level 1, Coffs Central Shopping Centre. Don't miss the artist talk evening on 15 January

The Gallery, Tea Gardens - Cool Summer Exhibition - 'A Window on Life'

Cool Summer, one of the biggest exhibitions held annually by the renowned Galleries in the Gardens (GIG) not-for-profit art group. This year’s theme presents a wide and varied insight into post-lockdown ‘new normal’ life. There are discoveries from literally looking thru a window; their thoughts of times to come; their hopes and dreams; and findings from personal introspection.

Exhibition opens 6 January until 31 January 2021. The Gallery is open every day 10am to 4pm except Tuesdays , Christmas eve and public holidays.

2020 Rotary Cartoon Awards

Featuring all the best entries from the well-loved 2020 Rotary Cartoon Awards - an Australia-wide competition open to all cartoonists; professional and enthusiasts.

Now in its 32nd year -  this year's special category recognises the past 12 months of hardship with the topic “Crisis, Which Crisis?” along with the usual themes: Caricature, Comic Strip, Political, Sports and Open, and the Cartoon of the Year Award.

On at the National Cartoon Gallery, Coffs Harbour until 28 February 2021. 

Weapons for the Soldier Exhibition

Weapons for the soldier is a major and ambitious exhibition bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia artists who have made new work to examine complex and varied responses to weaponry, warfare, and their connection to protecting land and country. This is the first Anangu-curated exhibition involving non-Indigenous artists, and the second major partnership project between APY Art Centre Collective and Hazelhurst Arts Centre in southern Sydney.

On at the Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie until 28 February 2021.


Sikh Heritage Museum - Woolgoolga

Celebrating the history of the Sikh community in Australia, this museum opened in 2019 in River St, Woolgoolga. The exhibitions showcase the Sikh understanding of the origins of the universe, the lives and teachings of the Ten Gurus, the Sikh empire, Sikhs in the World Wars, The Sikh ANZAC contribution, First migration of Sikhs to Australia and finally the establishment of a Sikh Community in Woolgoolga.

The Sikh Heritage Museum is open daily during NSW School Holidays 10am to 4pm.  

Slim Dusty Museum

The iconic Slim Dusty Centre in Kempsey, which has had its doors closed due to coronavirus for more than six months, is set to welcome visitors back in an early Christmas present to the community.

Reopening on December 18, the museum features objects and images from the Kirkpatrick family’s own extensive archive, as well as contributions from fans and friends from all over the world.

Open 10am-4pm Tuesday to Sunday, with the café open from 10am-2pm. Closed public holidays, and from Friday 25-Monday 28 December inclusive for Christmas.

Out and About

Mid North Coast Public Art Trail

Take a break from the beach and discover some of the public art dotted around the Mid North Coast.  Public art celebrates local stories and aspects of the landscape and heritage of the area. There are many fine examples of public art in our region that will delight and inspire. Follow the link below to see our Public Art Trail including a handy map locating all these works.

The Artist Markets - Port Macquarie

Take the whole family along to the The Artist Market, staged on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month in the beautiful grounds of The Maritime Museum. It is an eclectic market bringing together a vibrant and colourful collection of works by local artisans and artists. The market is dedicated to supporting and promoting local artists, artisans, farmers and food producers.

The next Artist Markets are on December 27 and January 10 from 9am - 1pm at the Maritime Museum, Port Macquarie. 

Looking for more summer holiday experiences on the mid north coast? 

Why not check our our Whats On events page or our fascinating Cultural Trails

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