Creativity contributes much to our society, culture and public spaces, so it’s great to see the Central Coast’s cultural and arts community growing in leaps and bounds.
There are many artists, writers and performers living on the Coast, and that artistic energy is translating into new collaborations, art development programs
and new arts facilities. Here’s a taste of what’s on offer.
With a reputation as one of Australia's most successful regional theatres, Laycock Street Community Theatre is committed to enhancing the social and cultural environment of the Central Coast and boasts a rich program of comedians, singers, dance and musicals both from touring productions and local performances. The main tiered-seating auditorium seats 392, and is available for hire by theatre and dance companies, community groups, business and individuals. The Don Craig Room provides an ideal space for intimate concerts, business meetings, and presentations, seating up to 100.
If you are into discovering cool local artists, take a peek into The Entrance Art Gallery. It has a punchy exhibition program that showcases local talent as well as national and international artists. The Gallery encourages exploration and collaboration of new and old art forms and provides another great hub for The Central Coast arts and culture scene, well worth a visit.
Another quaint local gallery is the Federation Gallery run by the Toukley and District Art Society. You will find on exhibit paintings in water colour, oil, acrylic and pastel, along with hand painted porcelain and silk, craftworks and hand painted cards for all occasions. The gallery and art centre is also the tourist information centre for the area, where maps and local tourist information is available. The Gallery is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 4pm. Opening hours may change on weekends during the winter.
Located on the shores of Caroline Bay in East Gosford, the Gosford Regional Gallery is one of the Central Coast’s leading tourist attractions, providing an important cultural and educational resource for the community and a great family attraction.
It incorporates three exhibition spaces, the Edogawa Commemorative Garden, a gallery shop and onsite café. The adjacent art centre is available for hire and supports the practice of local artists with art classes, meeting spaces and the Community Gallery.
The gallery’s hosts a diverse program of local, national and international exhibitions. Many significant touring exhibitions also come through Australia's extensive network of regional and national galleries. The gallery is open daily and admission is free.
Art Central is a program made possible through a Central Coast Arts and Community Partnership program. This program is funded by Arts NSW in a partnership with Regional Development Australia Central Coast, and Local Government to increase professional arts activity on the Central Coast. Funding is available for projects in any creative industry fields including (but not limited to) contemporary and performing arts, digital media, design, literature, music and/or craft.
The Central Coast is home to a wide variety of arts and cultural events. Music festivals include The Central Coast Country Music Festival, Mountain Sounds Festival and Brackets & Jam North, cultural festivals such as Gathering of the Clans in Toukley, Food festivals such as the Central Coast Craft Beer and Cider Festival, cultural events such as Harmony Day and so much more.
Surrounded by beautiful scenery, fresh coastal air, lush wooded valleys and picturesque villages, the Central Coast’s 5 Lands Art Studios Trail is made up of some of the coast’s finest artists. In 2017, the 5 Lands Art Studios Trail is open 11am to 3pm on 25 June, (following the 5 Lands Walk festival on 24 June) and 11am to 5pm on 4-5 November as well as .
Travel a beautiful trail from the bush to the beach to visit artists in their working studios including, Norma Dunston who describes her work as “stitching the landscape”; Paul Haggith capturing the mystery and beauty of our coastline; Cathryn McEwen’s water paintings; Margaret Fortey, famous for her large ink on silk works; Sandy James will round up her curious hens for the occasion whilst Ann Parker promises the temptation of large apples and still life’s; and award winning Willemina Villari, who relates to the landscape using mixed media, wire and collage.
Voted one of the top 5 Central Coast Experiences and including over 20 Central Coast Artists, the 5 Lands Art Studios trailis a unique opportunity for art lovers to meet artists in their own space, talk to them about their practice and experience the process of making visual art in a variety of forms. The trail is not only an educational experience but also a great idea for a weekend getaway just over an hour from Sydney.
On open studio weekends, look for the orange flags on display at all the open studios and signs leading the way. Purchases of artwork can be made directly from the artists. www.5landsartstudios.com, www.facebook.com/5landsartstudios/
The Central Coast also has a growing multicultural community, with 12 percent of residents born overseas*. The most common languages other than English spoken at home being: Italian, Spanish, Filipino/Tagalog, Greek, German, and Cantonese. This cultural diversity only helps to enhance the richness to life on The Central Coast. * 2011 Census figures